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UNARMED AFRICAN AMERICAN MAN TASED TO DEATH BY VIRGINIA POLICE, MESSA & ASSOCIATES FILES LAWSUIT

CONTACT:
Angela Leone, Marketing & PR Coordinator
aleone@messalaw.com
215-568-3500

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UNARMED AFRICAN AMERICAN MAN TASED TO DEATH BY VIRGINIA POLICE, MESSA & ASSOCIATES FILES LAWSUIT

PHILADELPHIA, PA – May 22, 2015

Messa & Associates has filed a claim against the South Boston, Virginia Police Department on behalf of the Estate of Linwood Raymond Lambert, Jr., a 46-year-old African American man who died in police custody on the morning of May 4, 2013.

Linwood Lambert checked into Room #109 at the South Boston Super 8 Motel around 11pm on May 3, 2013. In the early hours of the following morning, the South Boston PD was contacted about a noisy guest (Lambert) who was not responding to requests to quiet down. Upon their arrival at 5:00am, the police found an anxious and erratic Lambert in his hotel room and determined he needed psychological and/or medical treatment. Police asked Lambert to come with them and Lambert peacefully obliged. He went with the police, unarmed, to Halifax Regional Hospital.

Because South Boston PD has continually failed to provide a police report or other investigative materials under the guise of an “ongoing investigation,” it is unclear exactly what transpired in the following hour of time, but medical records and an autopsy report outline the evening thusly: After leaving the Super 8, Lambert got as far as the door to the Halifax Regional Emergency Department before he was tased by officers, loaded back into a police vehicle, and transported to Blue Ridge Regional Jail, never having received any medical treatment. Lambert was then brought, via ambulance, back to the Halifax Regional ED unresponsive and in full cardiac and respiratory arrest at 6:06am. Rescue efforts, initiated by paramedics at approximately 5:28am and continued by Halifax Regional emergency personnel, were unsuccessful. Lambert was pronounced dead at 6:23 am.

An autopsy report discovered “three punctures, suggestive of tazer barb sites.” This means that Mr. Lambert was tased multiple times between the time he was picked up from the Super 8 and the time he went into cardiac arrest at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail. Three times, Mr. Lambert’s body was hit with an excess of 50,000 electrical volts between 5:00 am and 5:28 am. Mr. Lambert was unarmed, non-threatening, never observed to have committed any crime, and in need of medical treatment from the Police Officers’ first encounter with him at 5:00 am on May 4, 2013. By 5:30 am, he was essentially tased to death by South Boston, VA police.

The case was filed in the Western District of Virginia Danville Division by Ramon A. Arreola, Esq. Mr. Arreola spoke of his case, saying,

“The death of Linwood Lambert, Jr. is tragic because it could have been prevented. The use of TASER weapons by law enforcement officers has resulted in hundreds of unnecessary deaths across the United States. This is unacceptable. Citizens in any community should not fear the law enforcement officers that are sworn to protect them. The Town of South Boston and the South Boston police department have a responsibility to prevent the unnecessary, inappropriate, or gratuitous use of TASER weapons by inadequately trained law enforcement officers.”

For more information, please contact Angela Leone at 215-568-3500 or aleone@messalaw.com.

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About Messa & Associates, P.C.
Messa & Associates, P.C. represents individuals and their families in complex personal injury matters, including catastrophic injury, medical malpractice, product liability, motor vehicle accidents, fires and explosions. Our attorneys serve Pennsylvania clients throughout the state, including in Philadelphia and other surrounding communities in Montgomery County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Bucks County. Messa & Associates are also proud to serve New Jersey clients throughout that state, and also litigate selected cases throughout the country.

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