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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33253
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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My brother passed away four years ago of an "accidental overdose"

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My brother passed away four years ago of an "accidental overdose" We got wind that someone he knew intentionally "laced" his heroin with rat poison to kill him because my brother owed him money. We found the leftover bags in my brothers wallet which we gave to police to get tested for anything that would have killed him. Come to find out the police didnt send out the bags to a lab until 8 months after my brother passed away. We have talked to the lab and they were told to only test what kind of drug the powered substance was, which came back being like 21.7 percent heroin. The lady who actually tested the substance told us she was not told to test for anything else. The police closed my brothers case and told us it was not foul play. There was a witness that went down to the police station in the mean time and told them that this "man" openly admitted to this and the police brushed her off and did nothing about it. Does this seem like its something we should follow up with? Should the police still have the bags we gave to them? Any advice would be greatly helpful!
Any idea on any ulterior motives that would have caused them not to have pursued it properly?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am not sure. The police were not to fond of my brother, or my family at that matter.

You can certainly try to get the police interested in pursuing it but realistically there isn't much that can be done. The courts have rule that the decision on whether or not to pursue a case resides solely with the police and DAs office and you can't force them to do anything.

A few things you could try:

1) Go through the chain of command at the police department asking for answers. You can do this yourself or, for added pressure, hire an attorney to do it for you.

2) Contact local reporters and see if any of them are interested in pursuing the matter. Reporters are always looking for ideas for stories and this attention sometimes causes the police to suddenly become more interested in pursuing a case.

3) Contact the ACLU and see if they can be of assistance. It would be unusual for them to get involved in this type of case, usually they would only get involved if there was some indication the police were involved in the actual death and not just a messed up investigation.

4) Contact your state's Attorney General or the US Department of Justice and inquire as to whether they would be willing to pursue it. They will occasionally get involved if they have heard of other, similar cases involving that department. It is worth contacting them because you wouldn't know if there are other complains of similar conduct and so the worst that can happen is they tell you they are not interested.

These are the most effective ways of dealing with the issues and are also ways that are either free or relatively inexpensive.
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