Family of Akron teen who died in police custody files civil lawsuit against police department

Xavier McMullen

AKRON – The Fox 8 I-Team has learned the family of an Akron teen , who died in police custody, has filed a civil lawsuit against the Akron Police Department.

The suit was filed in Summit County Common Pleas Court Thursday by Atty. Laura Mills, of Canton, on behalf of Xavier McMullen’s family.

The suit states the police department did not properly search McMullen before placing him in the rear of the cruiser.

The suit also alleges , “defendants interfered with and destroyed critical evidence in this case when they did not preserve all footage and recordings of Car #6 from August 25, 2017. “

A spokesman for the Akron police department  says the department does not comment on pending lawsuits.

McMullen, 17, was arrested August 25. He was a suspect in a robbery. He and two other teens were placed in the backseat of cruisers, while police searched for a gun.

McMullen, who was handcuffed, shot himself with the gun, police said. He died shortly after the shooting.

An officer involved in the arrest of the teen has been disciplined for not performing a thorough search.

The I-Team obtained discipline papers in March showing the officer will lose three days pay for placing Xavier McMullen in the backseat of a police cruiser in August, without properly searching him.

Witnesses told police they heard the gun shot but police did not go to the cruiser to check on him for several minutes.