State report: Death of Daniel McDonnell in Suffolk police custody was preventable homicide

Two years ago, Daniel McDonnell, of Lindenhurst, was arrested on accusations of violating an order of protection. McDonnell died in a holding cell.

Two years ago, Daniel McDonnell, of Lindenhurst, was arrested on accusations of violating an order of protection. McDonnell died in a holding cell. (6/28/13)

LINDENHURST - A state report has ruled the death of man in Suffolk police custody a preventable homicide.

Two years ago, Daniel McDonnell, of Lindenhurst, was arrested on accusations of violating an order of protection. McDonnell died in a holding cell. McDonnell’s wife Danielle says he was bipolar and that officers denied him his medication.

McDonnell protested and acted out following the denial. According to the report, numerous officers tackled, beat and Tasered McDonnell in response. The report says McDonnell died of compressive asphyxia during restraint by police.

The report slams the police, the medical examiner and the district attorney. It criticizes the use of force, the subsequent investigation by Suffolk homicide detectives and the lack of action by the Suffolk DA.

Danielle McDonnell is filing a $50 million lawsuit against the county and demanding a full criminal probe into the incident.

Suffolk District Attorney Tom Spota says his office was never contacted by state investigators and calls the report “baseless and inaccurate.” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s office said it couldn’t comment on a pending lawsuit. The Suffolk County Police Department says it is reviewing the report.

No court date has been set for McDonnell’s suit.
 

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