Hearing Scheduled In Wrongful Death Case Against Phoenix Police

Published: Sunday, May 2, 2021 - 5:05am
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A court hearing is scheduled for Tuesday in a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Phoenix, which hope to convince a judge to throw out the case stemming from a disabled Black man’s fatal encounter with police in 2017

Court records say Muhammad Muhaymin had PTSD, claustrophobia and schizophrenia. When Phoenix police moved to arrest him for an old warrant, Muhaymin asked to call his sister so she could pick up his service dog named Chiquita.

Officers said no, reportedly put their weight on Muhaymin as they arrested him and he died. Lawyer David Chami said he’s actively seeking a Justice Department investigation into Muhaymin’s death. Just like in similar cases around the country.

“But if somebody took a closer look at the body cam footage in this case. It’s arguably worse than what happened to George Floyd,” he said.

Ten Phoenix police officers are also named defendants in the federal lawsuit that seeks a jury trial. If the case continues, Chami said there’s a good chance it won’t start in September, as currently scheduled, because police have a special right to an immediate appeal. 

“So you may be talking six or seven years before the family actually gets their day in court. And there’s so many problems with that,” he said.

Memories fade over time and witnesses move away, Chami said. He believes the city’s strategy is to delay the case.    

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