A 60-year-old Georgia man died while in police custody on Sunday following a DUI-related arrest. Athens-Clarke County Police arrested the man for suspected DUI, after he had allegedly driven over a stop sign. According to reports, the man hit the stop sign and fled the scene.
The citizen who reported the incident said he saw the man hit the stop sign, and proceeded to follow him as he drove away. Police also followed the man's vehicle until it parked at a local residence. Authorities arrested the man on the DUI suspicion outside the residence. Next, he was transported to the police station and administered a breath test.
The Man Stopped Breathing During Breath Test
Police say that during the breath test, the man became unresponsive and stopped breathing. Paramedics tried to resuscitate him, but they were unable to save him. After being rushed to the hospital, he was pronounced dead at the medical facility.
Police claim that they did not administer any kind of force that might have led to the man's death during the arrest and breath test. Police say that the arresting officer was equipped with a body camera that filmed the entire arrest. Authorities also report that they have video footage from a vehicle-mounted video camera and that the room where the breath test was performed also had a functioning video camera that recorded the incident.
Did Police Fail to Protect This Man?
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) will be investigating the case further to find out if any undue force was applied in this incident, and/or if anything could have been handled better to prevent the arrested man's death. The deceased man's remains have also been provided to the GBI, which will perform an autopsy on the man.
When an arrested individual dies in police custody, numerous questions arise. Were the police diligent in safeguarding this individual's well-being? Did excessive force lead to the individual's death? Why did this person die and would he or she have lived if police acted more responsibly given the person's exhibited condition? In this case, family members of the deceased man will want answers to these questions and more. They may also want to consult with a personal injury attorney to investigate the viability of pursuing a wrongful death claim regarding the loss of their loved one.
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