An attorney who represents the family of an Alabama man says they want answers from authorities in the death of their loved one. They have stated their intention to a wrongful death lawsuit against three local police departments and several specific officers. The suit, which will be filed in federal court, is expected to be filed within the next month.
The complete circumstances surrounding the death of the young man are not yet known. According to police reports, the man was being pursued by officers from several local police departments in a car chase that reached speeds of 100 miles per hour. The chase ended at the Veterans Memorial Bridge where authorities state the man fell from the bridge into a local river. A search for his body ensued, and it was finally recovered in late April. Since that time, the family has been requesting further information as to what actually took place on the bridge, but say that so far none has been provided.
While authorities report that the man fell from the bridge, family members believe he may have been forced off in response to intimidation by authorities. They have asked to view the dash cam video that the police cruisers would have had operating, but have been informed it is not available at this time. Once the body was recovered, they asked for reports from the medical examiner's office regarding the condition of the deceased, but have again been told that the information is unavailable while the investigation is still in process.
There is an adage that states "There is more than one side to every story," and that is definitely a consideration for this Alabama family. They have so far received incomplete information from authorities that they say does not correlate with things that they know about the young man. The rules that govern the discovery phase of a wrongful death lawsuit will require authorities to fully disclose information obtained during the investigation to the plaintiff. Should that evidence support the allegations made by the family in the lawsuit, the local authorities and even specific officers may be found liable for his death. More information is expected to be released regarding this situation in the weeks ahead.
Source: whnt.com, "Family of Deonta Griffin to File Wrongful Death Lawsuit," Robert Richardson, May 28, 2013