Family files wrongful death lawsuit against Suffolk, sheriff's office

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WOODBURY -

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the family of an inmate who died at the Suffolk County Jail in Riverhead two years ago. 

According to the family's attorney, Andre Seabrook,  was beaten by a group of guards at the Suffolk County Jail in Riverhead. They claim the guards punched, kicked and stomped the 46-year-old inmate for singing and humming in his cell.

Seabrook, of Amityville, was left paralyzed below the waist and unable to urinate on his own. Six weeks later, Seabrook died unexpectedly. 

Attorney Frank Andrea says Seabrook was nonviolent criminal. He had been arrested for allegedly shoplifting a tent from a department store. 

"It was a petit larceny, and to have this happen to him is pretty horrific," says Andrea. 

Seabrook's relatives filed a $2 million wrongful death lawsuit at the federal courthouse in Central Islip. They blame his death on an ongoing policy of abuse against minorities.

"There have been prior incidents reported through Newsday, as well as other sources, of similar incidents occurring…at this jail in Riverhead," says Andrea. 

The lawsuit names Suffolk County and the sheriff's office as defendants. The identities of the individual guards accused in the alleged beating are unknown.

News 12 contacted the sheriff's office, which said it does not comment on pending litigation. The county attorney's office did not return a call to comment on the lawsuit.

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