GENEVA, Ala. (WDHN)—Two Geneva police officers are accused of ignoring the condition of a man in medical distress.
That man died after the police arrested him. The family claims a trip to the hospital instead of jail would have saved his life.
They’ve filed a federal suit against the two officers.
The family of Jeremy Lee Thompson says it all started last May when he was in medical distress.
They say Thompson was outside the Dollar General on Highway 27 in Geneva when a customer noticed him clutching his chest and mouthing the words “help me.”
The suit claims two Geneva Police Officers, Brandon Rogers, and Ethen Hendrix, arrived on the scene.
The family claims he told them he was having a stroke but they noticed an open bottle of alcohol in his car and arrested him.
The suit claims he had no alcohol in his system.
The family claims Thompson was taken to jail, put in a restraint chair, and then later started shaking and sweating.
They say he was finally taken to the ER at Wiregrass Medical Center. More than two and a half hours after officers first encountered him.
It was there, according to the family, he had a heart attack and died.
They say his death could have been prevented had the officers taken him to the hospital, to begin with.
Geneva Police Chief Pepper Mock says the department’s legal counsel has advised him not to comment. But he says Hendrix is no longer with the department after taking another job. He calls him a good officer.
And he says Rogers is also a good officer who does great things for the community.