Lawsuit: Cops Beat Diabetic Man Into A Coma After Mistaking Hypoglycemia For Drunkenness

Nick Cargo and David Edwards
Raw Story
September 24, 2008

The wife of 59-year-old Ernest Griglen, in a coma since June, has filed a federal lawsuit against two Michigan police departments, alleging that officers beat Griglen into a coma.

Pamela Griglen and attorney Arnold Reed, seeking $20 million in damages, say that officers from the Allen Park and Dearborn police departments severely beat Mr. Griglen, of Detroit, in the head and face during a June 15 traffic stop, following a chase, after mistaking a hypoglycemic episode for alcohol intoxication.

Police reports say that Griglen was being chased due to a domestic violence complaint, and described him as “combative,” saying that he had fled a traffic stop and resisted arrest. The Dearborn report indicates the use of pepper spray on Griglen and cites “a black object” on Griglen’s waistband. A breathalyzer test confirmed that Griglen was not under the influence of alcohol, and officers later found his insulin pump.

“The unnecessary and completely excessive force was something that was not needed,” said Reed. “Doctors have indicated he will probably never wake up. What his wife is left with is everyday she sees him and stands over him and talks to him and he can’t respond. No amount of money in the world can compensate her or her family for this type of injustice.”

While the reports say that Griglen’s injuries were “little more than a bloody nose” and a “bump on the forehead,” his wife said he complained of head and leg pain, and said he couldn’t see, before falling comatose. Griglen’s blood sugar level was found to be dangerously low according to the hospital’s test, and part of his brain was removed during emergency surgery.

“They didn’t beat John Hinckley Jr. after he shot President Reagan,” Reed said, “and they shouldn’t have done it to Mr. Griglen, either.”

No dashboard camera footage is available.

The accompanying video report was broadcast on September 22, 2008 on WDIV.

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