Estate of woman killed after IMPD confrontation in church sues city

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INDIANAPOLIS — The estate of a woman who died after being restrained by officers in a church two years ago is suing the city, IMPD, and the church where it happened.

The incident involving Eleanor Northington took place in February 2019 at Mt. Calvary Apostolic Church. According to court records, police were called when Northington started experiencing a mental health crisis.

The lawsuit says Northington spit on multiple churchgoers and on police and tried punching police. At one point, a church pastor placed a loose cloth over her mouth to keep her from spitting.

Police said they were forced to restrain her face down against the carpet. The cause of death in the autopsy was a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain.

At the time, IMPD Chief Roach said officers did not use excessive force and did nothing wrong.

The lawsuit was filed Monday. IMPD and the city of Indianapolis have declined to comment. Lawyers representing the church say they are currently reviewing the case.

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