A 21-year-old black man has died three days after he allegedly got into a fight with Baltimore County police officers.
The Baltimore Sun reports that Baltimore county resident Tawon Boyd passed away on Wednesday after being hospitalized on Sunday morning after a confrontation with police. A coroner is performing an autopsy to determine his exact cause of death, although an attorney for Boyd’s family claims that he died of both heart and kidney failure.
Boyd’s encounter with Baltimore County Police occurred after Boyd’s girlfriend called 911 and told the operator that he was acting “crazy.” Boyd’s grandmother, Linda Burch, confirmed Boyd’s behavior and told the Baltimore Sun that he “was acting kind of strange, like he was on something.”
Police said that when they arrived on the scene, Boyd appeared to be “confused and paranoid, sweating heavily.” When he saw police arrive, he tried banging on several neighbors’ doors to get inside. Police tried to arrest him, but they said he resisted.
Nonetheless, Boyd’s grandmother said that she was immediately concerned that officers were using unnecessary force to bring him down.
“He was just hollering and screaming on the ground, and they just kept pushing him down, pushing him down, on his shoulder and back and stuff, hitting him,” she told the Sun. “He was trying to get them off of him.”
After the officers successfully managed to pin Boyd to the ground, medics arrived on the scene and administered some kind of drug to him to calm him down. The police report has redacted what this drug was, however, and police officials said that “medical privacy laws” prevent them from disclosing it.
As he was being loaded onto an ambulance, Boyd was still breathing and had a regular heartbeat, police said. Nonetheless, the Boyd family’s attorney says that police killed him by using excessive force.
“Mr. Boyd was in need of medical attention, and the police responded with violence,” said attorney Latoya Francis-Williams. “The police beat him into intensive care, and now he’s no longer with us.”