Family sues after 2022 death of family member in Columbus police custody
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – The family of a man who died in Columbus police custody in February 2022 has filed a lawsuit against two CPD Officers, former Chief Fred Shelton, and the City of Columbus.
The adult children of Michael Guyton are suing Columbus Police Officers Rodreuiz Porter and Officer Jameson Holder in Federal Court for violating their father’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment Rights by not providing help for a medical emergency Guyton experienced while under arrest, and that lack of care led to his death.
At the time of the incident, it was reported that Guyton and his mother were arrested after an altercation at a business, and on the way to the police station, the officer noticed Guyton was slumped over and unresponsive. The officer then pulled over, called an ambulance, and began CPR.
The Federal complaint, which is one side of a case, tells a different story. According to the filing, Guyton was arrested for trying to de-escalate a situation between his mother and Officer Holder. Guyton was placed under arrest at 4:30. At about 4:45, Guyton told one of the officers that he had been at the neurologist that day and had been having tremors and severe back, neck, and shoulder pain. He asked Officer Porter if he could call emergency services. Officer Porter mentioned the request to Officer Holder but did not call EMS and left Guyton in the patrol Car.
While taking Guyton to be booked, Porter reportedly asked him a question. Guyton did not respond. It wasn’t until he asked again that he realized Guyton was unresponsive. According to the suit, this was at 5:21, more than 30 minutes after Guyton requested medical help.
The suit alleges that both officers knew that Guyton was suffering a medical emergency, and did nothing to help. It also claims that the city failed to properly oversee the Police Department and that it was sending out officers ignorant of how to recognize and address medical emergencies.
The Guytons are asking for a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages.
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