Trial: Officer, nurse ignored signs that detainee was in medical distress. John Neville died after being held in Forsyth Prison. | New


The lawsuit makes 12 separate claims, including violations of federal civil rights laws and one wrongful death. She seeks compensatory damages totaling at least $ 300,000 and an unknown amount in punitive damages.

The public did not learn of Neville’s death for six months, when Kimbrough admitted it on June 26, 2020, prompted by questions from the Winston-Salem Journal. Local protests sparked by George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis a month earlier quickly turned to demand accountability for Neville’s death in Winston-Salem.

The Triad Abolition Project held a 49-day protest at Bailey Park.

Protesters demanded that videos of Neville’s detention be released, that the prison change medical providers, and that law enforcement prohibits the use of the prone position Neville was immobilized in.

The Winston-Salem Journal joined with other media organizations in calling for the release of body camera and prison surveillance footage of the events leading up to Neville’s death. A Forsyth County judge ordered the videos released, which showed Neville had said the words “I can’t breathe” dozens of times while he was tied face down in jail.

Just days before his death, Kernersville Police arrested Neville under a pending arrest warrant, alleging a misdemeanor assault on a woman in Greensboro. He was taken to Forsyth County Jail and, according to the lawsuit, told prison officials that he suffered from asthma. Wellpath officials prescribed Neville an inhaler he was to receive four times a day.


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