A man who was brutally beaten by Ferguson, Mo. police officers and then charged with bleeding on their uniforms has won the right to appeal his 2009 case.
Henry Davis’ story began during the contentious protest-charged environment of Ferguson after the killing of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson in 2014. Davis, 53, was arrested for a parking violation, which was later revealed as a case of mistaken identity, according to The Daily Beast. Davis was taken to a crowded Ferguson jail and requested a mat to sleep on. When he was denied one, arresting Officer Christopher Pillarick claimed a handcuffed Davis refused to go into the cell. Pillarick called for backup and several officers tackled Davis, kicking him and punching him as he lay on the ground.
Because blood from the beating stained the officers’ uniforms, he was charged with ‘property damage,’ a complaint the federal district court agreed with.
“As unreasonable as it may sound, a reasonable officer could have believed that beating a subdued and compliant Mr. Davis while causing only a concussion, scalp lacerations and bruising with almost no permanent damage did not violate the Constitution,” the district court ruled in tossing out the case.
They also ruled that his scalp damage, concussion, and other injuries weren’t enough for the court to believe his personal constitutional rights were violated.
Davis and his attorney, James Schottel, stressed that it was less about the injuries he sustained and more about the nature of the officers’ behavior. An appeals court quickly sided with Davis on Tuesday, reversing the lower court’s ruling.
Davis is now free to continue with his excessive-force suit against Pillarick, former officer Kim Tihen, Officer Michael White, and Sergeant William Battard. Tihen, who went on to serve one term as a city council member in Ferguson, decided not to apply for a second term during the investigation into Brown’s death. Ironically, Tihen was one of the city council members who praised former officer Darren Wilson for his work prior to the Brown shooting.
Davis’ case was one of the many uncovered during the Department of Justice’s report on Ferguson in March. The scathing report revealed the police system was purposely using Black residents as pawns in unjust arrests to increase revenue in the town.
SOURCE: Daily Beast | VIDEO CREDIT: NDN