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Family Sues Cincinnati Over Death In Arrest

Associated Press
Sunday, September 12, 2004; Page A09

CINCINNATI -- The family of a black man who died during a videotaped fight with police last year sued Cincinnati, city officials, police and firefighters on Friday, accusing them of violating the man's civil rights.

The lawsuit alleges that Nathaniel Jones, 41, was unnecessarily struck with metal batons, and that he suffered respiratory failure while officers lay or sat on him and that resuscitation efforts were not performed immediately.

Bessie Jones, the victim's grandmother, is seeking unspecified money damages, funeral and burial expenses, and a court order to prevent Cincinnati from repeating the alleged constitutional violations.

In March, a prosecutor concluded that the officers involved in the struggle on Nov. 30 were lawfully defending themselves when Jones began swinging at them as they tried to handcuff him in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant.

Video from restaurant surveillance cameras and a police cruiser showed that Jones knocked over one officer before others jabbed or struck him more than two dozen times with nightsticks. The 350-pound Jones stopped breathing shortly after he was handcuffed.

In August, a watchdog agency concluded that the officers used excessive force. The Citizen Complaint Authority sent its conclusions to the city manager, who will decide whether the officers should be disciplined.

The FBI has said it is investigating whether Jones's civil rights were violated.


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