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Family believes excessive force by Port Arthur police caused man - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Family believes excessive force by Port Arthur police caused man's death

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The family of a man who died after being released by police is asking some serious questions.

Dustin Glover's family says he was unconscious when deputies signed his name to a personal recognizance bond releasing him from custody, and he died before his release was approved.  



Glover's story begins April 3 at the Louis Manor Apartments on Joe Louis Avenue.  A police report says officers were flagged down about a disturbance.    

The police report gives the official account of how things started:

"Officers located the suspect fighting with the complainant in a common area of the apartment complex.  Officers intervened and separated the suspect from the victim.  Officers could immediately smell the strong odor of "PCP" emitting from the suspect.  The suspect appeared spaced out and confused and was foaming from the mouth.  Officers determined that the suspect was intoxicated and posed a danger to himself and others.  As officers attempted to place the suspect under arrest, the suspect began fighting the officers causing serious bodily injury to one of the officers."



Officers say the woman who flagged police down accused Glover of taking her money.   The officers who first located Glover are Patrick Britton and Hebert Otis. They say Glover fought back as they were trying to arrest him and officer Otis was injured in the scuffle.

But attorneys for the family tell a different story, saying the mentally-challenged father of three died from internal injuries he received at the hands of at least three Port Arthur Police Officers. One of those officers in question is the same one arrested on a charge of family violence over the weekend.

12News obtained video (http://youtu.be/Nj_EQXRt_lo) of the confrontation taken by two different cell phones. The video shows some initial resistance from Glover, but Attorney Cade Bernsen says it does not show him attacking the officers. 

In his report, Officer Otis says he did Tase Glover once in the chest, but it did not have an effect on him.  Shortly afterward, officers George Clark and Gerald Bush arrived on scene and Clark Tased Glover five times.  

The video shows Otis with a choke hold on Glover, and Bernsen says Otis punched Glover as well.  At times, you can hear Glover squealing with pain, and claiming he had not done anything wrong.

After his arrest, Glover was taken to the Port Arthur Police Station, but then to Christus hospital St. Mary hospital.  Once he was released from the hospital, he was taken to the Jefferson County Jail.  According to jail documents, he vomited and was bleeding, so he was taken to Baptist Hospital in Beaumont where he died two days later. 

Bernsen said there is a red flag here.  He said authorities chose to release Glover shortly before his death, and after doctors had to revive him twice.  he was unconscious and could not even sign the paperwork himself.  Deputies had to sign it, and it was not even approved until two days after his death.  Bernsen believes that this was done to prevent a state investigation.

"By doing this, this PR bond, he technically did not die in custody and and in custody death report as required by the state, that is very troublesome, and anyone in this community who sees that and sees that kind of behavior should demand answers,"  said Bernsen.
Bernsen said there are a lot of answers the family is still seeking four months after Glover's death.  He said the police department is not cooperating and has not given the family crucial documents and video they are seeking, including results from an autopsy.

12News spoke with Port Arthur Police Chief Mark Blanton.  He said he has not received any formal complaint about the incident, but he is looking into it. He said the autopsy showed Glover died of drug toxicity and was apparently high on PCP.   

Chief Blanton said Glover was crazed, violently resisted arrest and said he severely injured officer Otis. He said Officer Otis has not been able to return to work because of a back injury he suffered in the struggle. 

Bernsen said his client was charged with assault on a public servant, but said he finds it interesting that he was never charged for what got police called in the first place, which was the woman claiming he had stolen her money.

 

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