A police brutality lawsuit underscored the metal trauma that victims experience from the use of excessive force during encounters with aggressive cops.
Kyron Hinton filed a lawsuit on Tuesday stemming from his severe beating at the hands of North Carolina state troopers and a deputy in April that was caught on video, the Associated Press reported.
The suit accused the Department of Public Safety, as the troopers’ employer, for negligence and was seeking $1 million for damages to Hinton’s physical and psychological well-being from the assault. In addition to medical bills, the beating caused “severe mental and emotional distress,” the legal action alleged.
A police dashcam video showed Hinton standing in a road on April 3 when the police surrounded him. When he failed to drop to the ground as ordered, one of the officers unleashed his police dog, which attacked Hinton, tearing his clothes. The other officers followed, punching, kicking and striking Hinton with a flashlight.
It’s easy to see how the vicious beating caused psychological trauma for Hinton. But even less brutal police encounters also cause trauma. Young men of color in particular experienced increased trauma and anxiety from constant encounters with aggressive police officers in their neighborhoods, a National Institutes of Health study found.
Black trauma doesn’t end there, as the New York Times has reported. A study published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, found that entire Black communities are psychologically traumatized by seeing the constant barrage of police beatings of unarmed Black men like Hinton.
The officers who assaulted Hinton were indicted and fired. Wake County Master Deputy Cameron Broadwell, the dog handler, was charged with two counts of felony assault and state troopers Michael G. Blake and Tabithia L. Davis were each charged with one count of felony assault.
Whether they get convicted is another issue.