Amaro was arrested for allegedly trying to buy crack cocaine from the undercover officers, who were posing as dealers. He later told jail officials, inmates and relatives that officers had beaten him before booking him, an account that two witnesses on the scene later supported, the appeals court said.
One witness, who was also arrested that night, said officers had repeatedly kicked Amaro in the ribs, punched him in the face and kneed him in the back, the court noted. The witness said Amaro had been bleeding from the nose and mouth when he was put in a police car.
The jail officer recalled that Amaro had bruises to his face and had complained about his ribs, and Amaro's cellmate said he could barely get out of bed. Amaro was released five days later, showed his mother his bruises and told her he had been denied treatment, the court said.
On April 18, 2000, a doctor told him he had suffered five rib fractures and a collapsed lung and needed emergency treatment. He died three days later, having opted to stay with a friend rather than receive treatment.
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