published Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Memphis man in coma for 21 years after police beating dies

MEMPHIS — A Memphis man who was comatose for almost 21 years after being beaten and hog-tied by police has died.

Pat Brunson-Ware told The Commercial Appeal that her son, Bert, died Thursday night after a short illness.

Bert Brunson was 22 in 1991 when Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies stopped him on suspicion of driving under the influence. Two deputies say Brunson tried to grab a gun and escape when they stopped to let him use a restroom. Brunson was struck in the head with a nightstick, hog-tied and placed on his stomach in the back of a cruiser.

His mother says his oxygen supply was cut off and he was left in a persistent vegetative state.

Shelby County settled a lawsuit brought by Brunson-Ware for $3.5 million plus her son’s medical bills.

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