Lawsuit: Police mishandled arrest of man on drugs who died

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal civil rights lawsuit in Ohio alleges police mishandled the arrest of a man on drugs who later died in a hospital.

The complaint filed Thursday by Jaron Thomas' estate says Columbus police were improperly trained and supervised in handling individuals suffering mental health crises. The lawsuit says Thomas was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

The complaint says police punched, body-slammed and kneed the 36-year-old Thomas on Jan. 14, causing him to lose consciousness.

The lawsuit alleges actions by police led to Thomas' death nine days later. The filing says Thomas had called 911 because of hallucinations and an adverse reaction to cocaine.

The lawsuit seeks at least $2 million in damages and would require updated training for officers dealing with mentally ill individuals.

City officials declined to comment.

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