Tuesday, February 11, 2014
The title of this post comes from this local article describing disturbing allegations of needless and degrading uses of force by L.A. County deputies. It states:
A Southern California man is accusing Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies in a federal civil rights lawsuit of attacking him and using a Taser on his genitals while his mother watched.
Daniel Johnson, 26, filed the lawsuit in January against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department after deputies allegedly threw him to the ground and attacked him for asking if he could pick up his father's cigarette to avoid a fine.
Johnson was cooking dinner at his mother's Altadena home on Dec. 26, 2012, when a man knocked on the door to tell Johnson his father was being ticketed outside for putting out a cigarette on the ground, according to the filed complaint.
Johnson's parents asked the deputies to "leave him alone" because he "hasn't done anything wrong."
Russell, according to the complaint, allegedly put Johnson in a "full nelson hold" with his arms under Johnson's armpits and hand behind Johnson's head.
At the same time Russell then allegedly took Johnson to the ground, Abdulfattah allegedly hit Johnson's father in the face, according to the complaint.
While Johnson was held to the ground by Russell, Abdulfattah used a Taser on Johnson's genitals multiple times, the complaint stated.
"He was definitely point blank," Johnson said. "He was right above me as he Tased me, so there's no mistake that he was trying to Tase me in my genitalia."
His mother said the deputy stared at her while she screamed.
"He's looking directly at me every time he pulls that trigger, and at one point my son says, 'Mom, I'm OK," Johnson's mother, Rose Gonzales, told NBC4. "So at that point, I realize this guy is doing this because I am reacting."
Johnson could "smell his flesh burning from the tases" and was screaming in pain, according to the complaint.
Johnson told NBC4 he begged the deputies to stop and repeatedly told them he was not resisting. He was eventually arrested for battery on a police officer, though he maintains in the complaint he never engaged in any physical contact with the deputies.
Abdulfattah allegedly told Johnson to "shut up" when Johnson said his father needed his inhaler, the complaint stated.
LA County Sheriff's Department officials would not comment on the case except to describe one of the deputies in question as "the best deputy in the division."
Johnson, a graduate of University of California, Berkeley with no criminal history, said the battery charges were never filed and the case was dropped. He said he just hopes audio recordings or video exist of the confrontation.
"When there's nothing to verify what actually happened, it becomes a state where it's their word versus ours," Johnson said.
CRL&P related posts:
- Excessive force claims under Fourth Amendment less protective when police use tasers?
- Don't tase me, Bro!
- Don’t Daze, Phase, or Lase Me, Bro! Fourth Amendment Excessive-Force Claims, Future Nonlethal Weapons, and Why Requiring an Injury Cannot Withstand a Constitutional or Practical Challenge