Family Files Wrongful Death Complaint Against Danville Police De - WSET.com - ABC13

Family Files Wrongful Death Complaint Against Danville Police Department

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Danville, VA - A woman is dead after a traffic stop, and now Danville Police are investigating a wrongful death complaint.

Holly Butler, 38, suffered an asthma attack and was being rushed to the hospital by friends when their vehicle was stopped by police.

Butler could not be saved. Now her family and friends want answers.

Police say the officers had no idea there was a medical emergency when they stopped the vehicle for driving in a dangerous manner.

They say they did all they could do, but the family says it just wasn't enough.

"She just kept telling us, 'I'm dying. I'm dying. Y'all, please help me.'"

Those were the chilling last words Renia Butler heard from her best friend Holly the day she died.

"It just wasn't right. It wasn't right for no one to die like she died," said Renia.

When Holly came to Danville to visit September 2, she told family and friends she was having an asthma attack.

They immediately called 911, but after a few minutes - they decided to drive her to the hospital themselves.

"The only thing I wanted to do was help her, " she said.

Police say Renia was driving dangerously down North Main when they pulled her and her friends over.

The women asked the officers to let them go or provide escort to the hospital, but they did not.

According to Police Chief Philip Broadfoot, that is against policy.

"The reason why we don't escort private vehicles is simply because of the danger to everyone else. We even have restrictions on when we operate with lights and sirens, " Broadfoot said. 

The officers told the women to wait for an ambulance, which Broadfoot says was on the scene 90 seconds after the call.

"Once they came up to the vehicle and realized it was a medical emergency, they immediately backed off, called for the ambulance, " he said.

EMS worked hard to help Holly, but they couldn't save her.

Police say it's a tragedy, but Holly's friends have filed a formal complaint hoping to get closure.
"My friend still ended up dying from this, and I don't really want no money, nothing. I just want justice for Holly, " Renia said. 

Chief Broadfoot says he is taking the complaint seriously and plans to reach out to the family once they have had time to grieve.
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