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County facing three lawsuits due to deputies' actions

New Haven residents may understand that law enforcement officials perform a dangerous job that often puts them in the path of people potentially looking to do them and others harm. Thus, their use of excessive force to deal with such individuals is often understood (and in some cases, even appreciated). Yet it should also be understood that such force should not be applied liberally, and that those using it should exercise sound judgment before doing so. Simply assuming that it is needed may not be enough to absolve them if they later face liability claims. 

Such a claim is currently being dealt with between county officials in Nevada and the parents of man who died while in the custody of local sheriff's deputies. This is just one of three wrongful death lawsuits currently facing the county over deaths involving struggles with its deputies. The plaintiffs in this particular case are alleging that deputies were incorrect in their use of force against their son, even though he had previously displayed signs of being in an altered mental state. After taking him to the hospital (where he was medicated), the deputies continued to use force in restraining him while returning him to his holding cell. During the struggle, he complained that he could not breathe and eventually lost consciousness. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. 

The action filed in this case cites the need for law enforcement officials to be trained to deal with individuals in special circumstances (such as those suffering psychological episodes). Such accountability may often only come as the result of such action. Those looking to initiate it in their cases may want to seek the services of an attorney to help them do so. 

Source: Reno-Gazette Journal "Parents of man killed by Washoe deputies to get $500,000 settlement" Damon, Anjeanette, Oct. 19, 2017

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