Man Suffering Heart Attack Tased and Beaten to Death by Police Officers
Joslynn Terrell, Angela Butler and Crystal Truitt pursue legal action in response to the 2009 death of a La Marque man reportedly at the hands of police. A lawsuit filed May 16 in federal court alleges the late Jamaal R. Valentine sought medical attention for an apparent heart attack only to be met and beaten by three La Marque police officers. Recent court documents explain that the decedent began to feel chest pains the evening of May 16, 2009, and went outside to get some air. He thought was he was suffering a heart attack so he flagged down a passing motorist for help, they say. The driver, Keith Pope, called 911 and subsequently remained with Valentine until emergency responders arrived. The plaintiffs argue that Garcia, Gandy and Keleman appeared instead of paramedics. They allegedly drew their weapons on Valentine and instructed him to put his hands behind his back, disregarding his need for medical attention, the suit says. According to the original petition, the policemen proceeded to punch, Taser and beat the decedent with their flashlights. Valentine was reported to have pleaded for his life to no avail. The attacks in question left him with a "significant" gash in his scalp and labored breathing. An ambulance finally arrived some 30 minutes after the initial call, however, 20 minutes passed before paramedics lent assistance to Valentine, the plaintiffs say. The decedent was rushed to a hospital in Houston, but the ambulance was rerouted to Mainland Medical Center in Texas City when he went into cardiac arrest. Valentine was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.