Family members gathered on Friday for a vigil to remember Tawon Boyd, 21, who died in the hospital mere days after an altercation with police. It all began early Sunday morning of last week, when Boyd apparently called 911 requesting an ambulance because he was feeling disoriented, reports the Guardian. The operator even heard Boyd’s girlfriend say in the background that he needed medical attention, notes the Associated Press. “They really were supposed to be there to get him to the nearest health care facility,” the lawyer for Boyd’s family, Latoya Francis-Williams, said.
When police arrived, Boyd told them his girlfriend “got him intoxicated and is secretly recording him while someone else is in the home.” In their report, police described Boyd as “confused and paranoid.” Boyd apparently then got a bit aggressive, tried to enter two police cars and even knocked on the door of a neigbhor’s house asking for someone to call the police. He refused to obey orders and began to kick officers. The police report acknowledges that an officer punched Boyd twice in the face.
“They kept on grabbing on him and holding him down, and he started screaming, ‘Grandma, Grandma, they’re going to kill me,’ ” Linda Burch, Boyd’s grandmother, said. “I kept telling them stop before they hurt him because I told them they could kill him like that,” she added. Police told the grandmother to go across the street or they would arrest her.
Boyd was finally taken to the hospital but died on Wednesday. “Mr. Boyd was in need of medical attention, and the police responded with violence,” said Francis-Williams. “The police beat him into intensive care, and now he’s no longer with us.”
The state medical examiner is set to conduct an autopsy to try to get some answers about what happened.