Family of teen who drowned in canal takes first step toward suing police

LAUDERHILL — A teenager drowned in a canal nearly 10 months ago while trying to swim away from the police. Now, his family is taking the first step toward suing the police department over his death, alleging they did nothing to pull him from the water.

The family of Damain Martin, who drowned in a canal while trying to swim away from police, has taken the first step toward suing the Sunrise Police Department.

Damain Martin’s family has sent a letter of its intent to sue the Sunrise Police Department, attorney Ben Crump said Thursday. Government agencies must be notified six months in advance of the filing of a lawsuit.

Martin, 16, died on March 8, about six minutes after a foot chase culminated when the teen jumped in a canal, swimming about 100 feet before submerging. Law enforcement reports state Martin and others bailed from a stolen Jeep after police approached the vehicle at 5:50 p.m.

At least three of Martin’s acquaintances were caught while Martin kept running until he reached a canal in Lauderhill and jumped in. Police deployed a Taser, and don’t believe it struck the teen. A Medical Examiner’s report said there were no signs Martin was struck with the Taser.

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