Man arrested while having heart attack dies after cops ‘restrain and give him ketamine’

Jeremy Lee Thompson, 34, was in his Honda Accord outside a Dollar General last may in Alabama when he was found clutching his chest and asking for help, according to a lawsuit

A man arrested while he was having a heart attack later died after police detained him outside a dollar store and gave him ketamine, a lawsuit has alleged.

Jeremy Lee Thompson, 34, was in his Honda Accord outside a Dollar General last may in Alabama when he was found clutching his chest and asking for help.

Police spotted him and walked over as Jeremy feared he was having a stroke, according to a federal lawsuit filed last month.

The lawsuit says police found an open container of alcohol in Jeremy’s car and he was arrested for public intoxication.

Police did not conduct a field sobriety test and instead took him to the county jail to leave him in the “drunk tank”, the suit alleges.

Jeremy was taken to Geneva County jail, put in restraints for more than an hour and was given the drug ketamine, it is claimed.

The complaint filed in federal court in Alabama’s Middle District last month reads: “The officers brought Thompson into the jail by supporting him as Thompson’s feet dragged on the ground.”

Brandon Rogers and Ethan Hendrix are the police officers named in the lawsuit.

Attorneys for the defendants have not yet responded to the suit, AL.com reports.

By the time Jeremy was taken to the hosptial he was pronounced dead from a heart attack, according to the complaint.

It was later said the cause of death as the “Toxic effects of Methamphetamine”, according to the suit.

Tests later showed that Jeremy had no alcohol in his system, the suit alleges.

Jon Goldfarb, attorney for Thompson’s estate, which is administered by his grandmother, Verlon Elizabeth Thompson, said: “I look forward to the opportunity to review the body camera footage.

“What I suspect it will show is evidence supporting the fact that the officers should have called for medical help, instead of taking Mr. Thompson to jail.”

Officers Rogers and Hendrix spotted Jeremy outside the store after a customer called 911.

The complaint reads: “(He) was in obvious medical distress, clutching his chest, mouthing the words ‘Help Me’ and making other statements that the customer found concerning.”

The suit alleges that instead of sending emergency responders, the 911 dispatcher sent police to speak to Jeremy.

Danny Adkinson, the county coroner, stated in his autopsy report, which is in the complaint: “Deference was not shown to the decedent.

“Why was an individual who was reported as clutching his chest and mouthing the words ‘help me’ not medically cleared?”

The lawsuit alleges that the officers violated policy by not taking Jeremy to the hospital before going to jail.

The complaint states: “He had begun to shake and sweat profusely, as his emergency medical state became more dire.”

The Geneva Rescue Squad arrived and gave Jeremy a dose of Ketamine, to calm him down, according to the complaint.

He was then rushed to the emergency room where he later died.

The complaint alleges that Jeremy’s life could have been spared if he had been taken to the hospital sooner.

His estate is seeking legal fees and compensation.

 

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