HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Friday, a Philadelphia law firm filed a multi-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the Estate of Terelle Thomas and his daughter against Dauphin County, the City of Harrisburg, and individual officers involved in his arrest and detention.
Attorney Kevin Mincey says on December 14, 2019, Thomas was taken into custody by Harrisburg police after a traffic stop.
Mincey alleges officer Daril Foose knew Thomas swallowed narcotics and told her fellow law enforcement, who did nothing about it. Mincey says it is the duty of all police to take someone who has ingested drugs to be taken to the hospital.
The federal filing alleges that Foose signed a sworn affidavit stating Thomas had a white substance around his mouth, which led her to believe he swallowed the drugs.
“They knew he should have went to the hospital and not to Dauphin County Prison,” Mincey said. “Prison officials were made aware of the concerns, and they should not have admitted, but they did, instead of rejecting him and sending him to the hospital.”
He says Thomas suffered a heart attack at the prison a short time after he was brought in, which left unconscious. He later died at a hospital.
Mincey says he is not opposed to settling out of court, although he expects to hear what comes next within a month.
Foose is reportedly no longer within the Harrisburg Police Department but remains in law enforcement.