Phoenix man dies in jail after arrest, family files lawsuit

January 4, 2023 GMT

PHOENIX (AP) — The family of Phoenix man who died in a Maricopa County jail two years ago has filed a lawsuit, alleging police officers used unreasonable force during his arrest.

The suit filed last Friday in federal court seeks unspecified general and punitive damages.

The Arizona Republic reports 31-year-old Akeem Terrell was taken into custody after he refused to leave a New Year’s Day party in 2021.

According to the lawsuit, up to seven Phoenix police officers were on top of Terrell in a jail isolation cell and holding him down as they changed his handcuffs.

Terrell’s family contends newly released body camera footage shows officers filing out of the cell, leaving him motionless and face down on the floor.

The suit alleges police delayed summoning medical care for the 6-foot-2 Terrell, who reportedly weighed more than 400 pounds.

The city of Phoenix declined to comment on the lawsuit. The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office didn’t immediately return an email Wednesday from the Associated Press seeking comment on the lawsuit.