The 24-year-old son of Pastor Kevin Clark of Detroit, Michigan died while in police custody after a traffic stop. Anthony Damone Clark Reed was pulled over around 9 p.m. on Monday because his vehicle had tinted windows.
Pastor Clark is speaking out about the circumstances behind the death of his son. He claims the death was caused by the negligence of the Detroit police. Pastor Clark also claims the negligence did not stop once his son was dead, as the police department did not contact the family until two hours later.
Reed had been hospitalized for asthma before, and when he was pulled over for the tinted windows on the new Dodge Charger he was driving, Reed told the officer he was having difficulty breathing. It was reported that Reed began to reach under his seat to locate his inhaler, and for reasons unknown, he was handcuffed and was denied access to his inhaler.
Because he was denied his medication, Reed did not have enough oxygen and he became unconscious while he was in the police custody. This is when the arresting officer finally gave Reed his inhaler, but at this point, it was too late. Even though CPR was performed in an effort to revive the young man, it was in vain, as Reed was pronounced dead upon arriving at the hospital.
Officer Jennifer Moreno of the Media Relations Department for the Detroit police provided a statement on the matter: “Officers did stop the gentleman for a traffic violation and subsequently he exited the vehicle … had an asthma attack. They gave him his inhaler (and) they administered CPR when the gentleman passed out and then (an ambulance) was ordered.”
Although the department remains quiet about why Reed was handcuffed over a victimless “crime,” his father has been outspoken when discussing what he thinks happened.
“He was gasping for air, looking for his inhaler [as he was driving],” Pastor Clark suggested to the Huffington Post. “When Detroit police pulled him out of the car he was already in panic mode … and they handcuffed him, and he’s trying to tell them he can’t breathe. I believe it caused his death … He dropped dead right there, in the hands of Detroit police officers who were negligent.”
In the time since Reed’s death, the police department has offered very little information to the grieving family. The police did offer an apology for not reaching out to Clark sooner.
Although Clark does not believe the department intended for Reed to die, he does believe they are responsible for the death of his only son.
“I think they were very negligent. I don’t think they meant to kill him, I just think they were truly, truly negligent, because they did not know that Anthony, upon pulling him out of the vehicle, know that he was in distress,” the pastor told MLive.