US Marijuana Party

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Family questions police tactics following death of Eldora man

Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, IA

ELDORA --- As family and friends wait for autopsy results, some question tactics that police used on Brian Gregory Jr., who died while being subdued and arrested.

Two police officers on Wednesday chased the 23-year-old through the mobile home park where he lived in Eldora. The officers were serving an arrest warrant for an alleged parole violation when Gregory started running.

Witnesses say an officer tackled Gregory Jr. from behind and put an arm around his neck in a move they described as a choke hold. They also say Gregory Jr.'s head hit a parked car as he was taken down.

The man's father, Brian Gregory Sr., saw part of the incident. He caught up in time to see two officers sitting on his son, who was handcuffed.

"We want answers, and everybody needs to know about what happened," Gregory Sr. said.

Gregory Sr. added he wants changes made in police procedures prohibiting officers from using choke holds and sitting on those they apprehend.

"His family just wants to know why. Why were they sitting on my dead son?" Gregory Sr. said.

U.S. citizens complained more than 26,000 times in 2002 about excessive police force, with evidence in about 8 percent justifying disciplinary action, according to a U.S. Department of Justice report released June 25. Another 34 percent of complaints were dropped, 25 percent were unfounded and 23 percent ended in exoneration because police actions were deemed lawful and proper.


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