Arlington Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit In City Jail Inmate Death

Jonathan Paul died in March, his family says, because officers at Arlington City Jail put him in a chokehold and then failed to act when Paul could no longer breathe.

Paul was picked up by Arlington police for outstanding warrants after he created a disturbance at his home in an apartment complex near the University of Texas at Arlington. After arrival at the jail, he was transferred to isolation, allegedly because he was, again, creating a disturbance. At some point on the way to being isolated or after he was isolated, a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Paul's estate says, "the unidentified defendant officer or officers are believed to have used excessive and undue force by physically restraining Jonathan Paul around the neck and compressing his airways, which caused him to stop breathing."

After Paul stopped breathing, the suit alleges, officers at the jail were deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs, like his not breathing. Their doing so violated Paul's constitutional rights as a pretrial detainee, the suit says.
Arlington Police spokesman Paul Rodriguez says the criminal investigation into Paul's death isn't finished. Detectives are waiting for the Tarrant County medical examiner to determine Paul's cause of death.
The suit requests damages for physical and metal pain and suffering; burial and funeral expenses; medical expenses; and the loss of future earning capacity.

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