DA: Responders won't be charged for restraining patient whose death was ruled a homicide

An attorney for Jamon West's family alleges firefighters threw West to the ground and put their weight on top of him while he was having a seizure

By Laura French

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A Georgia county district attorney announced Wednesday that no criminal charges will be filed against first responders who were accused of causing a patient's death. 

Family members of Jamon West say they believe first responders improperly restrained him while he was having a seizure in August 2019, according to FOX 5 Atlanta. According to Attorney Muwali Davis, who represents the West family, firefighters who responded to the 911 call by West's mother allegedly threw West to the ground as he was thrashing around from the seizure and then placed their weight on top of him. 

Davis alleges firefighters continued to hold West down after EMTs placed restraints on his legs and feet. Police officers then placed West in handcuffs, and he lost consciousness and stopped breathing, Davis said. 

West was placed on a ventilator and died nine days after the 911 call from delayed complications of cardiorespiratory arrest and physical restraint, according to Davis. His death was ruled a homicide by the DeKalb County Medical Examiner's Office. 

Davis and the West family met with DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston Wednesday where they viewed body camera footage of the incident for the first time and were told that no charges would be filed. 

The DeKalb County District Attorney's Office released a statement saying in part, "based on our review of the facts, circumstances, and evidence associated with this matter, we have concluded that the actions of the responding emergency personnel do not rise to the level of reckless conduct and therefore criminal culpability," according to WSB-TV. 

Davis said the family plans to pursue civil charges against the responders and obtain more body camera footage related to the incident. 

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