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Federal court greenlights lawsuit against cops for beatdown

A federal court has given the green light to a lawsuit against a city and its officers for injuries suffered by a man who was stopped for a broken taillight on his car, then “thrown to the ground, beaten and punched.”

The case was brought by the Rutherford Institute on behalf of Gregory Tucker, a young African-American who was driving a car in violation of the taillight requirement.

He brought a lawsuit against the city of Shreveport, Louisiana, and its officers over the injuries he suffered.

According to Rutherford, U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Foote ruled that the case can go forward. The city had moved for it to be dismissed.

“In rejecting a request by police to dismiss the claims that police officers violated Gregory Tucker’s constitutional rights when they allegedly used grossly excessive force during what should have been a routine traffic stop, the Louisiana federal court is allowing The Rutherford Institute’s Fourth Amendment lawsuit to move forward,” the institute said.

“According to the video footage of the incident, Tucker was stopped by police in Dec. 2016 for a broken taillight, only to be thrown to the ground, beaten and punched in the face and body more than 20 times, then arrested and hospitalized for severe injuries to his face and arm, all for allegedly ‘resisting arrest’ by driving to a safe, well-lit area before stopping.”

The court rejected a motion for summary judgment in favor of the city and officers.

“This case is a chilling reminder that in the American police state, ‘we the people’ are at the mercy of law enforcement officers who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to ‘serve and protect,'” said constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead of Rutherford.

“What this case makes painfully clear is how easy it is for Americans to be charged with any of the growing number of contempt of cop charges (ranging from resisting arrest and interference to disorderly conduct, obstruction, and failure to obey a police order) that get trotted out any time a citizen exhibits anything short of total compliance to the police state.”

It happened Dec, 2, 2016, when an officer saw a broken taillight on Tucker’s car.

He flashed his lights for Tucker to stop.

“Because he did not feel safe stopping immediately, Tucker drove calmly and slowly for a couple minutes more to a safe, well-lit area in front of his cousin’s house where he parked his car. The police officer then ordered Tucker out of his vehicle, and after stepping out, immediately placed Tucker under arrest for ‘resisting’ and searched his person and his vehicle. Tucker was then ordered to move to the front of the police vehicle and to place his hands on its hood. During this time, Tucker expressed his frustration to the officer over his treatment. Upon arriving on the scene, two other police officers walked up behind Tucker, grabbed his arms to restrain him and began placing handcuffs on Tucker. A third police officer also arrived on the scene. According to police dash cam footage, Tucker was then thrown to the ground and punched numerous times in the head and body. The police also yelled repeatedly at Tucker to ‘quit resisting.’ Tucker, bleeding with injuries to his face, head and arm, was then placed into the back of a police vehicle.”

The judge dismissed some counts she considered duplicative but said Tucker’s claims “survive summary judgment.”

The judge pointed out Tucker “provided no physical resistance prior to the takedown.”