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DIGGING DEEPER: City of Tucson facing new lawsuit following death of man in TPD custody

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Another lawsuit has hit the City of Tucson in the case of a man who died while in police custody earlier this year.

Carlos Adrian Ingram-Lopez was known simply as 'Adrian' to his family, but to two-year-old Sophie, he was 'daddy.'

Now, a civil lawsuit seeks to give Sophie a fighting chance at a life without the support of her father.

"She’s suffered an enormous amount of trauma; she's suffered an enormous amount of missing her father," said attorney Greg Kuykendall, who represents Sophie Ingram, and the estate of her father, Adrian, who died on April 21 while handcuffed by Tucson Police officers.

Those officers were responding to a 911 call from Adrian’s grandmother, after he started acting out-of-control, under the influence of cocaine.

In the wake of Adrian’s death, last August the City of Tucson was put on notice about the wrongful death claim, but they did not respond within 60 days, and that has now led to the lawsuit.

"They forced the breath out of him," Kuykendall said. "They, through their posturing on top of his body and by covering his head, increasing his body temperature, they didn't allow him to breathe properly - and they did that for 12 minutes."

Three officers involved in Adrian’s arrest resigned before they could be fired from the department. However, the Pima County Attorney's Office ultimately decided those officers would not face any criminal charges.

Then in September, Tucson Police released the findings of the department's Sentinel Event Review Board. It's a panel made up of medical and health professionals along with representatives of the police union and civic leaders. They were tasked with making recommendations about how to prevent future in-custody deaths.

"It’s certainly evident from the conclusions of the Sentinel Event Review Board that the actions and the failure to act by the Tucson Police Department resulted in Adrian’s death," Kuykendall told the Digging Deeper team.

In their notice of claim, Kuykendall and other attorneys asked the city for $19 million in damages for Sophie and her mother, who was Adrian’s fiancée.

“He was a best friend to me. His help with the baby, the support always motivating me to do better,” Elizabeth Cocoba told News 4 Tucson following Adrian's death.

Ultimately, a decision about how to make Sophie whole again could be decided by a jury.

"I think really the damages that we're talking about are the damages that she's going to suffer for the rest of her life for not having that father that loved her so much,” Kuykendall said.

Other members of Adrian’s family have also filed a separate claim against the City of Tucson, asking for $27 million.

News 4 Tucson contacted the city for their response to this latest lawsuit, but they never got back to us.

Paul Birmingham

Paul Birmingham is an Investigative Producer for KVOA News 4 Tucson. He is a three time Edward R. Murrow award winner, native Tucsonan, and a proud Arizona Wildcat.

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