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A Lawsuit is Filed Against the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office in the Death of Joseph Hutcheson

Texas Department of Criminal Justice
Texas Department of Criminal Justice (Photo: Licensed for Reuse)

A federal lawsuit was filed on Monday, July 31, 2017, alleging that 48-year-old Joseph Hutcheson died because of lack of training and excessive force by four deputies with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO). Hutcheson’s wife and mother filed the suit. The officers involved were not indicted when the incident was brought before a Dallas County grand jury regarding the August 2015 death. Hutcheson had voluntarily entered the lobby of the DCSO to ask for help, when the allegedly deadly encounter occurred.

Hutcheson had been seeking help when he went into the jail. Surveillance video indicates that he did not have any weapons nor behave in an aggressive manner and yet he was forced to the ground onto his stomach. Video also shows that two deputies allegedly put their knees onto Hutcheson’s back and neck as he was being handcuffed. The Plaintiffs allege that it took 7 minutes for CPR to be administered to Hutcheson by medical personnel. He was transported to a nearby hospital and later that day pronounced dead.

The medical examiner’s office ruled that Hutcheson’s death was a homicide. According to a report, he died from a combination of things, including the following:

  • Toxic effects of methamphetamine and cocaine;
  • Heart problems caused by high blood pressure; and
  • Physical stress associated with the alleged struggle with deputies from the DCSO and from being restrained in handcuffs.

The family members claim that Hutcheson was left on the floor to die after being assaulted for no reason.

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