MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — The father of an Alabama man who died in police custody says in a new federal lawsuit that officers “staged” his suicide to cover up what they describe as a brutal beating by officers while he was handcuffed and on his knees.
In the lawsuit filed this week, Framon Weaver Sr. says Mount Vernon police officers used a stun gun during the beating of his son, Framon Weaver Jr., who had been arrested Dec. 17, 2010 on public intoxication charges with his girlfriend, Monica Griffin.
Both were taken to the police station, where Griffin walked out a room and saw Weaver lying on his back and covered in blood in the parking lot, according to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court. His head was propped against the tire of a patrol car and he was surrounded by four or five Mount Vernon police officers, the suit said.
“Fearing he was dead, she screamed out Weaver’s name but he did not respond and remained motionless,” the lawsuit states. It says she was immediately grabbed by an officer and locked in a jail cell.
The lawsuit names several town officials and police officers as defendants. A message left by The Associated Press with the Mount Vernon mayor’s office was not immediately returned Wednesday.
The lawsuit maintains that Weaver’s body was later placed a jail cell, with a bedsheet tied around his neck to make his death appear to have been a suicide.
“He was allowed to hang for approximately 14 hours before being ‘discovered,'” the lawsuit states.
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