A 21-year-old man who called 911 for help after taking drugs later died after he was beaten by police.
Doctors couldn’t revive Tawon Boyd following the altercation with police – who repeatedly punched him while they responded to a call for an ambulance.
Initial accounts by Baltimore County Police Department claim officers were responding to a call made by Boyd’s girlfriend, Deona Styron.
Though, Latoya Francis-Williams, a lawyer representing the Boyd family, claims the victim placed the call himself requesting an ambulance.
‘They really were supposed to be there to get him to the nearest healthcare facility.’
When questioned regarding the discrepancy the force updated their account, stating: ‘Police originally thought the girlfriend was the caller because the information passed on to police from the dispatcher said “female yelling on the phone”.’
The police report states: ‘While speaking with the subject, I observed that he was sweating heavily and appeared to be confused and paranoid.
‘It was obvious that Suspect Boyd was under the influence of a narcotic and/or suffering’ and needed to be taken to the hospital for an emergency evaluation.’
The report also details how Boyd attempted to gain entry to police vehicles before he was punched in the face and restrained by Officer Bowman and Officer Garland, who attended the scene.
One officer held down his arms and head, while another used his body weight to lean on Boyd’s buttocks and thigh area. The report states he was extremely resistant.
According to witnesses he was shouting: ‘Stop, stop. I can’t breathe.’
Boyd had sustained injuries caused by officers by the time he was loaded into the ambulance, though medics claim he still had a pulse.
Boyd ended up in intensive care with swelling and fluid on the brain and his kidneys failed. He died in hospital three days later.
Police say an autopsy could take up to a month.