Texas cops are facing a wrongful death lawsuit when a man died of a broken neck after a violent arrest. The family of Jorge Gonzalez Zuniga, 23, has recently filed charges on four deputies who arrested him using what they deem to be brutal, unreasonable and excessive force which led to his death on July 15.

Gonzalez was celebrating Easter with friends in Hidalgo County on April 11 and fell asleep in his friend's yard. Police patrolling the area saw Gonzalez and woke him up to tell him to go home when they learned he didn't live in the property. The man complied, but the cops decided to arrest him instead for public intoxication and for violating emergency management orders on COVID-19 guidelines. Both misdemeanours were later dismissed, according to an article on the Metro.

The lawsuit stated that the arresting officers intentionally tripped Gonzalez, tased him several times, pepper sprayed him and was pushed to the ground. In the process, his neck was crushed as he was handcuffed as well as placed in ankle restraints.

While he was being booked, cops had to hold up Gonzalez' head for his mugshot as he was unable to hold it up himself. He had visible substantial swelling on his neck along with cuts and contusions.
The family's lawsuit claims that police failed to provide medical attention to Gonzalez for the duration of the 21 hours he was detained despite the injuries he sustained. He was found unresponsive in his cell, which prompted the county jail to call EMS to transport him to the McAllen Heart Hospital.

His diagnosis showed that Gonzalez suffered a severe cervical fracture leading to a swollen spinal cord which left him paralysed and fighting for his life. He was hospitalised in intensive care for more than a month but was sent home on June 5 because he did not have insurance. He died on July 15 from chronic respiratory failure following a heart attack.

Thomas J. Henry Law, a personal injury attorney in Austin, Texas, says Gonzalez injuries and untimely death were due to the "absolute deliberate and unconscionable indifference of the deputies and the jail staff."

'We are not in possession of the medical records required to confirm the cause of death. Any allegation that a citizen's rights have been violated is taken seriously and corrective action will be taken when justified", the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office stated.

Dallas cop car
Police cars sit on Main Street in Dallas following the sniper shooting during a protest on July 7 Getty