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Texas family sues over patient's death after police confrontation in hospital

A Texas family is alleging that a confrontation between police and one of their relatives in a hospital emergency room involved the use of excessive force, CBS affiliate KHOU-TV reports. The 25-year-old man died after the 2016 incident.

The county coroner's office listed the cause of death as "undetermined."

Manuel De La Cruz's family brought him to the Medical Center of Southeast Texas in Port Arthur in August 2016. He had paranoid schizophrenia and was suffering a bad episode.

"My brother Manuel told me, 'Take me home because the police are going to kill me,'" his sister Ruth said at a press conference.

A member of Manuel De La Cruz's family cries during a press conference about a lawsuit stemming from his death.

A member of Manuel De La Cruz's family cries during a press conference about a lawsuit stemming from his death.

KHOU-TV

Marco De La Cruz Jr. said it took between five to six hours before his brother was admitted.

Manuel De La Cruz wouldn't take off his clothes to put on a hospital gown, and police became involved, KHOU-TV reports.

According to the family's lawsuit, five officers and a hospital security guard piled on top of him, and he was choked and tased. He didn't move after the incident.

"Taking that boy's pants off became worth using the force of the state against him until he was dead," family attorney Joe House said.

His sister Patricia told the station: "They took him to the hospital to get help, not to come out in a coffin."

The lawsuit was filed against the city of Port Arthur, the Port Arthur Police Department and the hospital. They declined to provide comment to KHOU-TV.