Family Files $25,000,000 Lawsuit After Unarmed Man Dies in Va. Police Custody

Linwood Raymond Lambert Jr.
Courtesy of Messa & Associates
Linwood Raymond Lambert Jr.
Courtesy of Messa & Associates

Family members of a 46-year-old man who died two years ago in the custody of police in South Boston, Va., have filed a $25 million federal lawsuit against the department, alleging that officers used a Taser on him “without proper ground, willfully, maliciously, and gratuitously,” according to the South Boston News & Record.


Linwood Raymond Lambert Jr. died of a heart attack in 2013 after he was tased by police without provocation outside a hospital emergency room, according to the suit filed Apr. 29 in U.S. District Court in Danville, Va., by his sister, Gwendolyn Smalls of Richmond, the report says.

In response to the suit, South Boston police have denied accusations of improper use of Tasers, notes the news outlet. The 22-page filing contends that police acted appropriately while using a Taser to try to subdue Lambert, who was described as acting violently and erratically the morning of May 4, 2013, when officers brought him into the emergency room at Halifax Regional Hospital for a mental-health examination, the report says.

Later that morning, Lambert went into cardiac arrest as he was being detained at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail in Halifax, the report says. He was rushed back to the emergency room by rescue personnel around 6 a.m. and declared dead at the hospital shortly afterward, according to the News & Record.

The suit, prepared by attorneys in Maryland and Philadelphia, alleges that Lambert may have suffered an uninterrupted shock of up to 50,000 volts from the officers’ Tasers.

The News & Record identifies offficers involved in the incident as Cpl. Tiffany Bratton, Officer Clifton Mann and Officer Travis Clay. The town is seeking to have the lawsuit dismissed by the Danville federal district court.

Read more at the South Boston News & Record.