Why Did Virginia Man Die In Police Custody After Being Tased?


When three South Boston, Va., police officers put Linwood Lambert in a squad car around 5 a.m. on May 4, 2013, they said they were taking him to the ER for medical attention because he was speaking delusionally. Just over an hour later, Lambert died in police custody, MSNBC reports. He was never given medical care. He was arrested, shackled and tased repeatedly. While in custody he was agitated and ran from the officers. Ambulance workers say police claimed he fought them at a time when videos show he was actually unconscious. Police dispute that account and deny allegations of excessive force.

More than two years later, there have been no charges and no full public accounting of what happened. His sister has filed a wrongful death suit against the police department. A new investigation, including police videos obtained by MSNBC, shows the deadly trip for the first time. The case began when Lambert, 46, a construction worker, was staying at a motel in South Boston, a town of 8,000 in Southern Virginia. In the middle of the night, police received calls about noise complaints at the hotel. When three officers came to Lambert's door just before 5 a.m., they say he was acting paranoid, hallucinating and telling them there were bodies buried in the ceiling. Because he was unarmed and not suspected of any crime, the officers did not arrest him and told him to come on the short trip to a hospital. There, he broke out of a squad car and was tased.

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