Court says officer can be sued in suspect's death

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- A Benton Harbor police officer has no immunity in the death of a crime suspect who ran into a Dumpster and lacerated his liver while being chased on foot.

In a 2-1 decision last Thursday, a federal appeals court says jurors can determine whether the officer disregarded risks faced by Doyle Jackson, who was kept in a squad car for 40 minutes after an intense struggle with police and then transported to the Berrien County jail.

A nurse at the jail found Jackson unresponsive. He died at a hospital.

Jackson was drunk and had been struck with a stun gun at least a dozen times. In a dissent, Judge Alice Batchelder says there's no evidence that the Benton Harbor officer knew Jackson had potentially life-threatening injuries after colliding with the Dumpster.

Published: Mon, Mar 11, 2013