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Family files $12M lawsuit against Ga. city after man hangs himself with shoelaces in interview room

SAVANNAH, Ga. — The family of a man who died in police custody is suing the city of Savannah for $12 million.

William Harvey, 60, hung himself in April of 2021 after he was left alone inside a police interrogation room.

Harvey was in custody for aggravated assault.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation released preliminary findings of its investigation, saying evidence showed Harvey died after hanging himself with his own shoelaces while left alone in the interview room.

On Tuesday, Harvey’s mother, Shirley Francis spoke at a news conference.

“I know my son loved his mama, and I loved him in return. But, to hear how my child died of neglect. It tears me apart,” she said.

In 2021, the city of Savannah fired five police officers involved in the case, saying they failed to follow proper procedures by leaving Harvey alone and not turning on a surveillance camera in the interrogation room.

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