Several civil rights attorneys plan to file a federal lawsuit in connection to the death of Jawan Dallas, a 36-year-old man who died after being detained by Mobile police.
The attorneys, Harry Daniels, John Burris, Lee Merritt, Roderick Van Daniel and Ben Crump, will join the family of Dallas on Monday to present a copy of the lawsuit.
Dallas died after an encounter with police on July 2, after being detained in response to a 911 call about a break-in at a trailer home. During a struggle, Dallas was hit by a Taser stun gun, and he later died at the hospital.
Attorneys representing the family claim false arrest, battery and wrongful death.
Mobile Police Chief Paul Prine previously offered condolences to the family of Dallas, saying a lot of misinformation and false narratives had been pushed out to the community throughout the investigation. He said during the struggle, officers used a Taser on Dallas, but it was ineffective, and Dallas tried to take it from the officer and attempted to bite one of them.
At that point, Prine said the officer had every right to use deadly force under policy and state law but did not. The officer continued to struggle with Dallas until he was subdued.
After being detained, Dallas told police he was having difficulty breathing due to asthma, Prine explained. EMS was called out to render aid. Dallas was taken to the hospital, where he died.
The two police officers involved in the arrest were cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the grand jury. Mobile County District Attorney Keith Blackwood said Dallas suffered from underlying medical conditions that were exacerbated by drug use. Blackwood added that multiple drugs were detected in Dallas’ system at the time of his death.
Prine said Dallas, a convicted felon, was in possession of methamphetamine and spice at the time of the incident. At the time of his death, he had two warrants for probation revocation, which is why investigators say he likely tried to run from officers.
Mobile NAACP president Robert Clopton also plans to join the group in front of City Hall for the announcement on Monday at 8:30 a.m.
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