Two border officers and the US government were recently held responsible for the 2013 death of sixteen year-old Mexican Cruz Velazquez Acevedo after the border officers forced the teenager to drink a liquid that contained a methamphetamine that killed him.
Apple juice. That was what Cruz Velazquez Acevedo told the drug suspecting border officers he was carrying with him when he crossed the border. The Boston Globe reports on the details of the deadly encounter, "The two Border Control Officers believed the teen was carrying a deadly controlled substance, but they coerced and intimidated him into drinking the liquid according to the complaint. The boy was taken to the hospital almost an hour after he drank the methamphetamine." He died within hours of drinking the methamphetamine and the whole encounter was caught on video surveillance.
The tragedy of this death brings up a lot of important topics ranging from how government agents should treat impressionable minors and what are appropriate and inappropriate drug testing methods. It is believed that Acevedo, like many children in his position, was offered $100-$200 by a local drug dealer to smuggle some drugs over the border. One thing the $1 Million judgment makes clear is that the government and its' agents are not immune from wrongful death lawsuits. While there are certain limitations and additional requirements when it comes to suing any government agency, it can be done.
Wrongful deaths are avoidable deaths which is why these cases are so emotional and complicated. In the case of Cruz, the officers were probably not trying to kill him but their irresponsible and negligent behavior did just that. If you are dealing with the wrongful death of a loved one, a legal case can help ease the financial stress the situation has caused as well as bring attention and hopefully reform to the behavior that caused the death. The tremendous coverage this case initially received when the video surveillance was released has led to larger discussions about training and officer discipline.
At Walch Law, we know what you are dealing with and we are here to help. We have the experience and track record of success you want fighting your wrongful death and serious personal injury case. Fill out our contact us form today and let's begin working together.