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New Bedford Family Files Wrongful Death Suit Against Police

backgroundnow, flickr

The family of a New Bedford man who died in police custody two years ago,  has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Federal Court against five city police officers.  The suit alleges the officers left  42 year old Erik Aguilar face down in a convenience store parking lot with his hands cuffed behind his back in July 2010. The suit says Aguilar was on the ground for 13 minutes during which he stopped breathing and his heart stopped.  Aguilar family attorney Howard Freidman says the police failed to take appropriate action.

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The suit also alleges police waited four minutes after learning Aguilar had no pulse before administering CPR.   An independent investigation found Aguilar died from drug and alcohol intoxication, and absolved the officers of any criminal charges.

However, administrative action was taken against the officers.  Mayor Jon Mitchell declined to immediately respond to the lawsuit’s specifics, but said the city “takes very seriously the matters raised” in the suit.

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