Judge tosses excessive force lawsuit in homeless man’s death

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — A judge has dismissed an excessive force lawsuit brought by the family of a central Illinois homeless man who died in 2016 after police restrained him.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric Long ruled Friday that the officers’ actions were “reasonable” when they called for an ambulance, held Richard Turner on the ground and handcuffed him. He later died.

Raised in Champaign, Turner was a high school football player. He was a fixture around the University of Illinois campus. He had mental problems and was schizophrenic.

On Nov. 16, 2016, someone called police asking to check on Turner, who was acting erratically. He ran when he saw officers.

The autopsy report found that while officers’ restraint “could be a contributing factor” to the death, the 54-year-old died of a heart attack.

Family attorney Victor Henderson says he’s considering an appeal.

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