DUNBAR, WV (WOWK) – A family is continuing to fight for justice for their son who died in police custody almost a year ago.
No criminal charges were filed in connection to the case, but the family plans to proceed with a civil lawsuit, according to their attorneys Dante’ diTrapano and Jesse Forbes.
“The family is not going to lay back and allow this type of injustice that they believe happened to their son on the streets of Dunbar to take place without taking them to court and holding them accountable and that’s exactly what we’ve done here,” Forbes said.
According to the lawsuit filed in September 2022, 34-year-old Michael Scott Jr. died two days after a Dunbar police officer allegedly slammed his head into the pavement on Park Drive.
At the time, officers Zachary Winters and Adam Mason, both named in the lawsuit, were attempting to arrest Scott for an outstanding warrant for a misdemeanor trespassing charge.
Scott’s death certificate ruled his manner of death a homicide and the cause of death was blunt force injuries of the head that occurred while reportedly resisting arrest.
“This should never have happened to this family’s son, to their sibling, that shouldn’t have happened on the streets of Dunbar,” Forbes said.
According to the lawsuit, Winters later told officials that Scott was trying to flee at the time of arrest; however, Forbes and diTrapano who’ve seen the body camera footage said otherwise. They also said Scott might’ve been alive today if he also wasn’t denied medical treatment for hours after the alleged incident.
Even though the family is shocked and disappointed no criminal charges were filed, Forbes and diTrapano said they believe the U.S. Attorney’s Office is conducting its own investigation.
13 News reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charleston, but officials said they could not confirm or deny if that was the case.
The Dunbar Police Department declined to comment about the case due to the civil lawsuit, which also names the City of Dunbar as a defendant.