PEORIA (HOI) -- The family of a Peoria man who died at a local hospital after robbing a convenience store is suing the city, the officers who arrested him, and the EMTs that were on scene. David Smith's family is asking for $10,000,000, saying that Smith was a victim of police misconduct.
The lawsuit goes on to say that Peoria Police officers willfully and wantonly disregarded that Smith was in medical distress when he was in their custody in October 2019.
Around 8:30 am on October 28, 2019, David Smith walked into Johnson Mini Mart on Peoria's south side. Smith could be seen in surveillance video wearing a gray hoodie and armed with a handgun. Not long after entering the store, he was holding that gun against a cashier's head.
Police say after Smith fled the store, he was found lying in a yard near his home. AMT responded, but then released Smith to police custody after a medical assessment. Smith later became unconscious while at Peoria Police Headquarters and was taken to a local hospital where he died. The coroner said he suffered a hearty arrhythmia.
Since then, David Smith's family has wanted to someone to be held accountable.
"I don't care about what my brother did I just wanted...they could have helped my brother, my brother could have still been here if they helped my brother," said Smith’s sister Keondra Fluker back in October 2019.
The 30 page lawsuit, filed by Verniec Fluker, Smith's mother alleges officers deliberately ignored the need for Smith to be taken to the hospital when he was originally found. The document says officers ignored Mr. Smith when he asked for oxygen, and that officers accused him of playing games.
AMT employees are alleged to have harbored the same prejudice held by the officers, and rendered what the lawsuit called a superficial assessment.