US Marijuana Party

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Suit alleges excessive police force in suspect's shooting death

Associated Press

DECATUR, Ala. - A federal lawsuit alleges authorities used excessive force when deputies shot and killed suspected bootlegger James Hulett and abused his 63-year-old wife by forcing her to crawl on her belly while uttering a racial slur about her.

Hulett, 53, was shot at his home in Decatur during a raid for illegal alcohol sales, according to reports.

Authorities reportedly claimed that Hulett pulled a gun and the officers shot him. The lawsuit states that Hulett was unarmed at the time he was shot.

Witnesses said the officers kept Hulett handcuffed and would not remove the cuffs for paramedics to properly treat him after he had been shot multiple times.

"For this guy, who was not responding, it was kind of stupid," said paramedic Kris Reisz.

His report stated that law enforcement officers refused to remove the handcuffs. A forensic report stated that Hulett's body had 13 bullet holes.

"They instructed Mrs. Hulett, who was sitting on the porch, to get down on her hands and knees but she was experiencing difficulties due to infirmities caused by her age of 63," the suit says.

One of the officers then called her a racial slur and instructed her to get all the way down and to crawl on her belly, the suit says.

"As she was crawling toward the steps, one of the officers grabbed her and dragged her down the steps onto the graveled yard. They handcuffed her and placed her near the van," the suit says.


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