his family was awarded $35 million in compensation
On August 10, a federal jury awarded the family of a Long Island (New York) resident $ 35 million in compensation. The man died after police officers stopped him on the road in 2008 and beat him. Writes about it Fox News.
Frederick Brewington, a lawyer for the Kenny Lazo family, said “justice has been done”. In 2009, the Lazo family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Suffolk County Police Department and five police officers.
“It was horrendous how the Suffolk County police physically abused and humiliated Lazo and then tried to cover it up,” Brewington said. “No family should go through what the Lazo family had to go through.”
The jury awarded the Lazo family $13.5 million in damages and $21.5 million in punitive damages.
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Lazo was 24 years old when police stopped him at the South Boulevard exit in Bay Shore. Mark Lindemann (a lawyer representing the police) said that Lazo, who was suspected of selling drugs and committing various traffic violations, was hostile. According to him, Lazo hit the officer on the head with his elbow and reached for the officer’s pistol. Lindemann called the chain of events “life-threatening” for police officers.
“They used force that was reasonable, appropriate and justified in this situation,” he said.
Brewington accused the officers of fabricating a reason to stop Lazo and using their powers to beat and humiliate him by removing his clothes and shoes and then beating the guy when he tried to run. Lazo, who was first taken to a nearby police station rather than a hospital, had 36 injuries all over his body, Brewington said.
But Lindemann assured that Lazo had superficial injuries that did not require hospitalization.
Lazo was later found unconscious on the floor of the pre-trial detention cell and taken to the nearest hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy revealed that he died of cardiac arrest “as a result of the strain associated with prolonged physical abuse with multiple blows with blunt objects”. Obesity has also been identified as a factor in death.
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