Wrongful Death Suit Filed against Kansas City Police

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Wrongful death suit is filed by the family of a Missouri man who was killed while being restrained by Kansas City Police.

On October 8, 2009 Gilbert Dixon, 60 year old of Lexington, Missouri was found by Kansas City Police without clothing and screaming in the street. At this time, Dixon was experiencing a flashback related to post-traumatic stress disorder from his military service.

Responding to this event, Kansas City Police officers restrained Dixon. After handcuffing and applying leg shackles while Dixon was face down on the ground, officers then sat Dixon up and allowed his head to slump forward with his chin on his chest.

The position in which Dixon was placed is known to cause “positional asphyxia”, which occurs when someone’s position prevents them from breathing adequately. Dixon was kept in this position for more than 11 minutes. Police car video shows officers attempting to check Dixon’s vitals however when the ambulance arrived, paramedics were unable to find a pulse and began resuscitation efforts.

Dixon was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead two days later.

In response to his death, Dixon’s family has filed a wrongful death suit in U.S. District Court in Kansas City and alleges that the responding officers used “excessive and unreasonable force” when they encountered the decedent in the street that night. The lawsuit states that doctors determined that Dixon had “severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy”, a condition in which the brain is deprived of oxygen.

The wrongful death suit additionally claims that the Board of Police Commissioners was negligent in its training and supervision of the police officers involved. According to a spokeswoman, the department is aware of the suit and the legal staff is working on it, but it could not comment further.


The A.W. Smith Law Firm in Columbia handles serious injury and wrongful death cases all over the State of Missouri. If you have questions about how to choose a law firm that is equipped to handle your wrongful death or personal injury case, please contact us today at 573-443-7300 or visit our website at www.awsmithlaw.com. The A.W. Smith Law Firm has recovered millions in settlements and verdicts in serious injury and wrongful death cases.