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ACLU Suit Claims Police Chief Caused Gay Man's Death

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A small-town West Virginia police chief faces a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union for his actions in alledgedly denying a dying gay man CPR. According to the federal lawsuit, Welch, WV police chief Bobby Bowman stopped a would-be rescuer from performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on 43 year old Claude Green on June 21, 2005 after Green suffered a heart attack. The suit alledges that Bowman commanded the rescuer, Billy Snead, to get away from Mr. Green because Green was gay and was HIV positive. Bowman is also alledged to have told paramedics that Mr. Green was HIV positive. The man, in fact, did not have the AIDS virus and was not HIV positive.

Billy Snead supports the ACLU’s contention, saying that Bowman repeatedly demanded that Sneed get away from Green because he was HIV positve. According to Snead, Bowman then grabbed him by the shoulders and told him to sit on the curb while an ambulance was called. A spokesperosn for the ACLU said that Bowman’s alleged actions violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and directly contributed to Claude Green’s death. Bowman refused to answer questions, specifically whether or not he knew Claude Green was gay.

Green was taken to the hospital, and emergency personnel attempted to revive him for nearly 30 minutes. He was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the emergency room.