Riley Holifield

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Riley Devon Holifield (born 1978 - died January 22, 2006) in Birmingham was an employee of Hertz Rent-A-Car at the Birmingham International Airport. He died following the use of force by officers of the Birmingham Police Department responding to a call for backup during a standoff at his home at 2820 John Bryan Road.

According to his sister Kimekia Gamble, Holifield was arguing with his wife, Lachicka, and threatening to leave the house with his 9-month-old daughter at 4:30 in the morning. Police responded to the disturbance and asked him to hand over the child. When he refused, they called for backup and began to hit him on the arms and legs with nightsticks. They later used pepper spray to subdue him and, once they retrieved the child, forcibly restrained him on the ground using handcuffs and a belt. During the struggle, Holifield went into cardiac arrest and could not be resuscitated. He was pronounced dead at Princeton Baptist Medical Center at 6:10 AM. The child was treated for eye irritation from the pepper spray at Children's Hospital.

The incident was investigated by detectives from the Department's homicide division, but no charges were filed. In January 2008 Holifield's father, Riley L. Holifield, filed a wrongful death suit in federal court, naming the City of Birmingham, former police chief Anetta Nunn and five officers as defendants.


  • Mills, Ryan (January 24, 2006) "Man dies after struggling with police for baby." Birmingham News
  • Walton, Val (January 29, 2008) "Lawsuit filed in January 2006 death of man who died after struggle with Birmingham police." Birmingham News