MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) – A woman whose husband died after a 300-pound jail officer knelt on his back has won a major decision in a lawsuit claiming he was the victim of excessive force.

An appeals court on Wednesday reversed key rulings by federal Judge Terrence Berg and reinstated the lawsuit against Macomb County officers. It means the case will go to trial or be settled.

Bronislaw Kulpa suffered a heart attack and died while handcuffed in the Macomb County jail in 2011. The 63-year-old was in a detox unit and had resisted efforts to be taken to a medical unit for evaluation.

Video shows Officer John Cantea kneeling on Kulpa’s back while other officers watched but didn’t intervene. The appeals court says a jury “could reasonably find” that Cantea used excessive force.


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