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Indiana councilman seeks federal probe in man’s jail death

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CROWN POINT, Ind. — A councilman in northwestern Indiana’s Lake County is calling for a federal investigation into a man’s death at the county’s jail.

Lake County Councilman Jamal Washington also wants the public release of a video of jail employees restraining and stunning 39-year-old Gregory Thomas Smith before his March 2015 death from cardiac arrest.

Washington tells The (Munster) Times ( ) the video shows corrections officers pushing Smith to the floor and holding him down as he pleads for help and complains he cannot breathe.

His family is suing the county over his death, which came after he was arrested for speeding.

Sheriff John Buncich declined to comment, citing the litigation. He says the judge in that case has ordered the video sealed.

Buncich says the Justice Department is aware of Smith’s death.

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