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Woman sues city of Charlotte, former CMPD officers following brother's death in 2020

The lawsuit was filed on Thursday, Jan. 20, in Mecklenburg County Superior Court.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A lawsuit has been filed suing a handful of former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers and the city of Charlotte in the 2020 death of Harold Easter, 41.

The lawsuit names five former officers, an "officer John Doe," and the city of Charlotte as defendants. Andrell Mackey, Easter's sister, is the plaintiff and is being represented by J. Alexander Heroy with James McElory & Diehl, P.A., in Charlotte. 

Heroy provided a copy of the lawsuit to WCNC Charlotte on Sunday. Mackey is suing for the wrongful death of Easter and negligence against all the defendants. Mackey is also seeking a trial jury on all issues and seeking more than $25,000 in damages. 

Easter died on Jan. 26, 2020, hospitalized after suffering a seizure while in police custody on Jan. 23. Easter had been arrested for conducting a suspected drug deal. 

RELATED: "I'm going to die" | Harold Easter's cries for help went unanswered too long, attorney says

As WCNC Charlotte uncovered during the initial investigation, CMPD video shows officers believed Easter swallowed cocaine and did not get him medical attention, despite the man repeatedly saying he was going to die, according to Heroy.

"It is obvious that he needs immediate medical attention," Heroy told WCNC Charlotte back in 2020. "For a period of minutes, he was calling out for help, acknowledging the peril he is in and just repeating, 'I'm going to die, I'm going to die, I'm going to die.' They just did nothing about it and they did nothing about it for a long, long time and then when they did try to give help, it was way too late."

CMPD said police found cocaine and marijuana in Easter's possession after the traffic stop, took him into custody and brought him to the police station on Beatties Ford Road.

The officers involved were not charged criminally and resigned as a result of the incident.

Sgt. Nicolas Vincent, Officer Brentley Vinson, Officer Michael Benfield, Officer Michael Joseph and Officer Shon Sheffield had remained on administrative leave in the midst of an internal investigation, WCNC Charlotte previously reported.

RELATED: All five CMPD officers cited for termination for in-custody death of Harold Easter have resigned

The incident stemmed protests across the Queen City. 

RELATED: Harold Easter’s family marches to honor his life, seek accountability

A city of Charlotte spokesperson declined to comment about the lawsuit when asked on Sunday. 

WCNC Charlotte will follow updates as they become available.