TEXARKANA, Texas – The mother of a Dayton, Ohio man who died in police custody two years ago has filed a wrongful death suit against three police officers in Texarkana, Texas.
The complaint alleges the officers were “deliberately indifferent” as her son complained that he couldn’t breathe.
Police body camera video starts where Officer Jerrica Weaver arrives to transport Darren Boykin, 23, to jail after he allegedly lead Texarkana College officers on a chase that ended off campus.
At one point in the video, Boykin can be heard yelling for help. Officer Brent Hobbs opens the door and Boykin tells him, “I can’t breathe.”
Hobbs tells Weaver about Boykin’s complaint. Weaver responds, “He’ll be fine.”
The lawsuit accuses Officer Weaver, Officer Hobbs and Sgt. William Scott of violating Boykin’s civil rights.
Attorneys Scott Palmer and James Roberts filed the suit on behalf of Boykin’s mother, Keisha.
“It’s horrible to watch because all of this could have been easily prevented,” explained Palmer.
An autopsy reports showed Boykin died of natural causes.
“Even if there was something to do with sickle cell or whatever the reason it was that he couldn’t breathe, providing him with oxygen is going to help that situation,” said Roberts.
Before the patrol car left the scene, Boykin again pleads for help.
Officer Weaver responds, “I’m going to help you get to the jail.”
Roberts says Officer Weaver was clearly indifferent to Boykin’s cries for help, but she wasn’t the only one.
“She did nothing, but the other officers present they are also liable here because they knew that he couldn’t breathe,” said Roberts.
When Officer Weaver arrives to the jail, Boykin was slumped over and unresponsive. She immediately began CPR.
“Now they take action. At that point they’ve already driven right by the very hospital they end up taking him back to and it’s too late at this point,” said Palmer.
The Texarkana, Texas Police Department said they could not comment on pending litigation.