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Secondary Autopsy Leads To $6 Million Payout For The Family Of Shayne Sutherland


The City of Stockton has agreed to a $6 million settlement with the family of Shayne Sutherland, who died in police custody in 2020. During his arrest by the Stockton Police Department (SPD) in October of that year, Sutherland's breathing was restricted, leading to his death. Initially deemed accidental by the San Joaquin County Coroner's Office, an independent autopsy later identified positional asphyxiation as the cause of death.


"Things need to change because this is horrible. Nobody ever wants to lose their child, especially in this way," said Karen Sutherland, Shayne Sutherland's mother. "Knowing how my son died and suffering and begging for his life and calling out for me."


The incident was captured partially on bodycam footage released by the SPD. Since the tragic event, Sutherland's family has been advocating for changes to police practices, urging the adoption of the 1995 Department of Justice guidelines. These guidelines recommend that handcuffed individuals should be promptly moved off their stomachs and placed in a recovery position to ensure their safety.


Reacting to the incident and the resulting settlement, a spokesperson for the SPD expressed sympathy for the loss and emphasized the department's commitment to officer training and community collaboration to prevent such tragedies in the future.


Loved ones of individuals who have been killed while under incarceration or police custody interested in learning more about the Autopsy Initiative can find more information at Knowyourrightscamp.org/autopsyinitiative. 


Link: Fox40

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