SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (WRIC/CNN) — Thursday brings a hearing in the $25 million lawsuit filed by the family of Linwood Lambert Jr., the Virginia man who died in police custody in 2013, after police restrained him and repeatedly used a stun gun on him.
Relatives of Lambert say they only recently saw the video of what happened, which shows police using stun guns on him multiple times the night he died in police custody in 2013.
“I would suggest and argue that every single time they tazed him was inappropriate,” said Joe Messa, the attorney for the Lambert family.
Late that night, officers responded to noise complaints at a motel in South Boston, Virginia, where they found Lambert. In court documents, police describe Lambert as acting strangely. Officers put him in the back of a patrol car and explained to him that he wasn’t being “locked up.”
“We’re going to take you to the emergency room,” the officer in the video said. “We’re going to get you looked at, make sure you’re good to go.”
Outside the hospital, though, Lambert becomes agitated. Police say he tried to break the window and succeeded in doing so. Later in the video, Lambert sprints from the car to the hospital, where police corner him and use their stun guns. The video shows officers struggling with him at times. It’s not clear exactly how many times officers used their stun guns, but they do so multiple times.
“…He’s in handcuffs, and they taze him one time, and he’s on the ground. It’s over. It’s done,” Messa said. “There is no reason to subject this gentleman to further punishment, to further Tasing, to put his life at risk.”
Instead of taking Lambert inside the hospital, officers put him back in the patrol car — where a stun gun is used again. By the time officers get to the police station, Lambert is unresponsive.
An autopsy report cited the cause of death as “acute cocaine intoxication.”
Lambert’s family has filed a $25 million lawsuit accusing police of using excessive force and violating his civil rights.
Lawyers representing the officers say they did nothing wrong and that their actions did not cause his death.
Stay with 8News for the latest updates to this developing story.