Civil action filed against Burlington cop in Kilburn death

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 5:32 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The estate of a man who died last year after being punched by a Burlington police officer has now filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

The civil action filed in federal court this week blames the city of Burlington, Officer Corey Campbell, former Police Chief Brandon del Pozo, and Mayor Miro Weinberger for the death of Douglas Kilburn.

The lawsuit says Kilburn died due to the use of excessive force by Officer Campbell and points to the emotional stress and loss people close to Kilburn suffered. The lawsuit also claims that the mayor and the police department tried to protect Officer Campbell by trying to get the medical examiner to change the autopsy report.

The fatal confrontation took place in March of 2019. Police say they got a call that the 54-year-old Kilburn was causing trouble at UVM Medical Center and blocking the ambulance bays. Body camera footage of Officer Campbell shows Kilburn coming at him and the officer fighting back with three punches that left Kilburn injured.

Kilburn was found dead at his home three days later. The medical examiner indicated that injuries to his skull may have been a factor and he ruled Kilburn’s death a homicide.

The case was investigated by the state police and then passed off to the attorney general’s office, which ruled that Campbell’s actions were justified because he was defending himself.

Protestors in Burlington this summer called for the firing of Campbell and two other Burlington Police offers who were accused of excessive force.

Although Campell was later disciplined by the police chief for using inflammatory language that may have exacerbated the incident, he remains with the department.

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