[WATCH] Family Accuses Collier County Deputies of Beating Man to Death

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -A Chokoloskee family is accusing Collier County Sheriff Deputies of beating a man to death after he died in their custody.

Devan Rewis, 31, was arrested on Sept. 15 after being pulled over for breaking curfew following Hurricane Irma.

The sheriff’s office said during the traffic stop, Rewis attempted to run from deputies and attacked officers as they tried to handcuff him.

Officers used a stun gun and needed to control Rewis forcefully.

“There’s no reason to Taser and beat and Taser and beat and pepper spray someone like that and refuse their call for help,” Rewis’ aunt, Martha Daniels, said.

The day after his arrest, Rewis was found unresponsive in his cell.

Deputies are now waiting for a toxicology report to determine the cause of death.

This incident wasn’t Rewis’ first run-in with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. He faced multiple drug arrests in the past. The toxicology report will indicate if drugs had anything to do with his death.

Rewis’ family believes that drugs had nothing to do with his death and that deputies targeted him due to his past.

The deputy that arrested Rewis has been disciplined the the sheriff’s office before, causing concern for the family.

Rewis’ family hopes the sheriff’s office investigates the case with this in mind.

The sheriff’s office is waiting on the full autopsy report which will include a toxicology report. There is an internal investigation underway at the sheriff’s office. No deputies involved in the case are on leave.

Source: http://www.nbc-2.com/story/36478713/family-accuses-collier-deputies-of-beating-man-to-death

NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida

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Polygamous Montana trio applies for wedding license

Nathan Collier is shown in the profile photo from his Facebook page.© Via Facebook at http://aka.ms/Co1qs2
Nathan Collier is shown in the profile photo from his Facebook page.

HELENA, Mont. — A Montana man said Wednesday that he was inspired by last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage to apply for a marriage license so that he can legally wed his second wife.

Nathan Collier and his wives Victoria and Christine applied at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings on Tuesday in an attempt to legitimize their polygamous marriage. Montana, like all 50 states, outlaws bigamy — holding multiple marriage licenses — but Collier said he plans to sue if the application is denied.

“It’s about marriage equality,” Collier told The Associated Press Wednesday. “You can’t have this without polygamy.”

County clerk officials initially denied Collier’s application, then said they would consult with the county attorney’s office before giving him a final answer, Collier said.

Yellowstone County chief civil litigator Kevin Gillen said he is reviewing Montana’s bigamy laws and expected to send a formal response to Collier by next week.

“I think he deserves an answer,” Gillen said, but added his review is finding that “the law simply doesn’t provide for that yet.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday made gay marriages legal nationwide. Chief Justice John Roberts said in his dissent that people in polygamous relationships could make the same legal argument that not having the opportunity to marry disrespects and subordinates them.

Collier, 46, said that dissent inspired him. He owns a refrigeration business in Billings and married Victoria, 40, in 2000. He and his second wife, Christine, had a religious wedding ceremony in 2007 but did not sign a marriage license to avoid bigamy charges, he said.

Collier said he is a former Mormon who was excommunicated for polygamy and now belongs to no religious organization. He said he and his wives hid their relationship for years, but became tired of hiding and went public by appearing on the reality cable television show “Sister Wives.”

The three have seven children of their own and from previous relationships.

“My second wife Christine, who I’m not legally married to, she’s put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy,” he said.

Collier said he sent an email asking the ACLU of Montana to represent him in a possible lawsuit. ACLU legal director Jim Taylor said he has not seen the request.

Taylor said he has no opinion on Collier’s claims, though the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage “is about something very different.”

Anne Wilde, a co-founder of the polygamy advocacy organization Principle Voices located in Utah, said Collier’s application is the first she’s heard of in the nation, and that most polygamous families in Utah are not seeking the right to have multiple marriage licenses.

“Ninety percent or more of the fundamentalist Mormons don’t want it legalized, they want it decriminalized,” Wilde said.

A federal judge struck down parts of Utah’s anti-polygamy law two years ago, saying the law violated religious freedom by prohibiting cohabitation. Bigamy is still illegal.

The state has appealed the ruling, and the case is pending in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Wilde said most polygamous families are satisfied with the judge’s ruling and believe taking it further to include multiple marriage licenses would bring them under the unwanted jurisdiction of the government.

But she said the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage should strengthen their chance of winning the appeal.

“We hope the Supreme Court decision will show the direction the nation is going,” she said. “It’s more liberal, it’s more understanding about people forming the families the way they want.”

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