The Puyallup Tribal Police Killed My Client When He Wandered Unwittingly onto the Reservation
One evening in the spring of 2007, Dr. Jeffrey Young wandered onto the Puyallup Reservation, unarmed, harmless, obese and seeking help. He was then killed by three Tribal Police Officers.
The officers were trained and certified by the State of Washington. They were cross commissioned by the City of Fife, the City of Tacoma, and Pierce County. They were armed and provisioned by the United States.
Dr. Young was not in his right state of mind. He went to the tribal health clinic and told them he was a doctor and needed to see his patients. The residential assistant did not recognize him and did not let him in.
The RA then called the security guard. Dr. Young called the RA the anti-Christ. He then called the security guard the anti-Christ and asked him for protection from the RA.
The RA called the police. Three police officers arrived. They did not consider the situation an emergency, so they did not turn on their lights or their dash-cams. The officers then engaged Dr. Young in conversation.
Dr. Young wandered off. The officers called him back. One officer then kicked Dr. Young’s feet out from under him so that he fell face down on pavement. The officers then proceeded to pigpile, handcuff, and ankle cuff him. They also tasered him three or four times.
After completing their handiwork, the officers stood up and began to recollect themselves. Meanwhile, a fourth officer arrived and noticed that Dr. Young’s lips were blue. The officers began CPR and called the medics.
It was too late. Dr. Young was pronounced dead approximately half an hour later. The Pierce County coroner determined that the cause of death was excited delirium.
My pathologist determined that Dr. Young died of a hypoxia-induced cardiac dysrhythmia. The hypoxia was caused by the weight of the officers sitting on his back and the fact that the officers left Dr. Young on his belly.
My police expert determined that the officers used excessive force.
For further information on Young v. Fitzpatrick, see Supreme Court website at: http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.aspx?FileName=/docketfiles/11-1485.htm
For the Supreme Court supplemental briefing on my case, see: http://yalelewislaw.com/files/YoungSuppBriefPetit03Jun2013.pdf
For the Young v. Duenas Court of Appeals of the State of Washington, Division One, published Opinion, see: http://yalelewislaw.com/files/YoungWAApellCrtIPublishedOpinion.pdf