LANSING – Attorneys from Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C., a Michigan-based law firm, announced today that they have filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of an unarmed man who died while restrained facedown in police custody.

Anthony Hulon - Wrongful Death Lawsuit - Buckfire LawThe family of Anthony Hulon filed a federal lawsuit Monday against the City of Lansing and the officers responsible for using “excessive force” and “permitting collusive statements by involved officers.”

Hulon died on April 11 after he was handcuffed behind his back and pinned on the ground by Lansing police officers in a jail cell after being transported from Sparrow Hospital to the Lansing City Jail. Hulon, who was arrested for simple domestic assault, had his ankles shackled and was forcefully held down by three officers.

Officers Gary Worden, Charles Wright and Trevor Allman were captured on video pinning Hulon to the ground on his stomach and chest, compressing his lungs and restricting his ability to breathe for over 5 minutes, even as the man moaned in agony, repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe.”

Hulon, 54, suffered cardiac arrest and anoxic brain injury, according to medical records. The Ingham County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the cause of death as positional asphyxia and the manner of death as homicide.

Buckfire Law trial attorney Jennifer Damico, the lawyer representing Hulon’s family, said their 30-page civil action filed in the Western District of Michigan, will continue an important conversation on the “ongoing problem of police brutality.”

“This isn’t the first time this has happened in the Lansing City Jail, in the same cell nonetheless,” Damico said. “This department knows better, and knows about the risks associated with positional asphyxia. It shows that this department turned a blind eye to the rights of citizens and has learned nothing from prior incidents.”

Michigan State Police recommended that criminal charges be filed by the State of Michigan Attorney General against the four officers. The matter is still under investigation.

The lawsuit comes nearly five months after the death of George Floyd, whose death in police custody sparked massive protests against police brutality. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was videotaped kneeling on the handcuffed Floyd’s neck for over 8 minutes as the man repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.”

“It’s tragic that we continue to see more and more instances of police brutality,” Damico said. “This department, once and for all, needs to be held accountable.”

The lawsuit seeks all permissible damages under Michigan law.

Overview: On October 26th, 2020, Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. filed a federal wrongful lawsuit against the Lansing Police on behalf of The Family of Anthony Hulon, whose death was allegedly caused as a result of excessive police officer force. Hulon’s death occurred on April 11th, after he had already been detained with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Case Details: On April 11th, 2020, Anthony Hulon passed away while restrained by the ankles and wrists in police custody at the Lansing City Jail.

Anthony Hulon had been arrested on behalf of alleged domestic assault charges. After his arrest, he was transported to nearby Sparrow Hospital on suspicion of drug use where doctors found traces of meth and ecstasy in his system. After the possibility of an overdose was ruled out and receiving drugs to help Hulon calm down, he was sent back to Lansing City Jail. Once back in his jail cell, chained by the wrists and ankles, officers attempted to bring Hulon to the ground. After Hulon initially refused the request, Officers Edgar Guerra, Gary Worden, Charles Wright, and Trevor Allman are accused of pinning Hulon to the ground with excessive force on video footage.

While being pinned to the ground by the officers, Hulon’s chest and stomach were pressed firmly against the ground, compressing his lungs and restricting his ability to breathe for five minutes. Husson repeatedly groaned in agony while finding the strength to painfully muster out the words “I’m passing out” and “I can’t breathe”, according to video footage. The lawsuit details that officers did not roll Hulon onto his side until three and a half minutes after his last voluntary movement. Hulon had been pressed face down on his stomach for an agonizing 5 minutes and 23 seconds.

The officers then checked Hulon’s pulse, unable to determine the state of his injuries. After being unable to locate a pulse and noticing that Hulon was no longer breathing, the officers finally called for medical help. According to the video, Officers did not give rescue breaths to Hulon, despite being advised by the AED machine to do so eight times.

Husson suffered cardiac arrest and anoxic brain injury during this encounter, resulting in his death. The Ingham County Medical Examiner’s Officer ruled that positional asphyxia was the cause of death, which occurs when one’s position renders them incapable of breathing sufficiently. In addition to this, it was determined that the manner of Hulon’s death was a homicide.

This is not the first time that the city of Lansing has faced consequences resulting from incidents that occurred to inmates. The city has been sued on at least five separate occasions on similar accusations.

Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. File a Lawsuit: Michigan based law firm Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Lansing and the officers responsible on the grounds of excessive force and permitting collusive statements by involved officers. The lawsuit seeks to punish those accused to the full extent of Michigan law. The investigation remains open.

Be sure to check back to this page for official updates regarding the case.

If you or someone you love has suffered mistreatment or abuse at the hands of the police, you should not hesitate to reach out to Buckfire Law Firm for help.

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