Family Files Suit, alleges negligence in death of 27-year-old in custody – NBC Chicago
A family filed a complaint against a suburban police department after saying a 27-year-old man died while in custody last year as officers failed to help him while he was suffering from a medical emergency.
According to family and lawyers, DaJuan Gates died on August 22, 2020 after being arrested following a foot chase in Forest Park.
“It was just devastating to deal with, and having to relive it, and relive it now,” said Tenell Coleman, Gates’ girlfriend.
According to family lawyer Dan Kotin, Gates operated a stop sign in Forest Park on the fateful evening, and was then arrested by Oak Park and Forest Park police after he fled the scene on foot.
Kotin says Gates took PCP earlier in the evening and fidgeted during the chase, causing his body to overheat.
Police dashcam footage released by family lawyers shows Gates struggling to get up and speak.
“What’s your business man?” I told you, you have to talk, ”we hear one of the officers say. “You have to use words. Breathe deeply, breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth, okay? “
Kotin says the officers did nothing to help Gates, even though he was suffering from a medical emergency. Lawyers said Rush Oak Park Hospital was located directly across from where Gates was being held and officers failed in their duty to get help for him.
“At one point, they even picked him up and put him in the back of the police car, drove him into the emergency room ambulance bay, but didn’t get him out of the car. Kotin said.
After 21 minutes in police custody, Gates went into cardiac arrest and paramedics were called to the scene.
“Me and his dad went straight to the hospital, and there was really nothing they could do,” Coleman said.
Gates was later pronounced dead in hospital. Now the family has filed a complaint against the two police departments, alleging that the officers acted negligently by not bringing her in for medical treatment.
Both police departments declined to comment, saying they had yet to see the trial.
Coleman says her life has been forever changed by the events of that night, as she and Gates’ five children try to move forward.
“I just cried in the middle of the night, talking about him,” she said. “They miss him.”