United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
Jackson L. Kiser Senior United States District Judge
Dupree Brown, a Virginia inmate proceeding pro se, filed a
complaint pursuant to . 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the
Albemarle County Police Department and local police officers
associated with the Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement Task
Force. Plaintiff alleged, inter alia, that the
police officers' use of excessive force and denial of
medical assistance violated his federal rights. By a prior
memorandum opinion and order, I granted in part and denied in
part defendants' motions to dismiss and ordered the
current defendants - police officers Johnson, McKay, Coffin,
Suitz, Frazier, Hatter, Wormley, Jones, McCall, and Brake -
to file motions for summary judgment. These motions have been
filed, and Plaintiff responded, making the matter ripe for
disposition. After reviewing the record, I grant in part and
deny in part defendants' motions for summary judgment,
and the excessive force claim against defendant Johnson must
be resolved by trial.
alleges the following facts as his remaining two claims:
On [December 19, 2013, ] ... I was pulled out of the vehicle
I was inside after Sgt[.] Johnson busted the driver's
side window out with his handgun. I was pulled to the ground
then handcuffed[.] ... I layed [sic] face down posing no
threat to Officers or resistance[.] Dell Johnson started
twisting my wrist until it broke ....
Tavis Coffin ordered Officer McCall to tase me two times in
the back while I layed face down handcuffed without
resistance [, ] posing no threat[, and] moving in pain from
my wrist being broken. An ambulance arrived[.] Dell Johnson,
Jon Seitz, Sgt[.] Brake[, ] Officer McCall, Mark Jones,
Wormley, [and] Tavis Coffin denied me medical treatment.
Plaintiff does not give evidence of when defendant Johnson
allegedly broke his wrist during the arrest.
from Officer McCall's police-cruiser dashcam was filed in
support of a motion for summary judgment. The video shows
Officer McCall driving to a busy intersection controlled by a
traffic light where Plaintiff stopped his car in a line of
traffic. Once the police cruiser approaches Plaintiffs car,
Detective Jones, who wore plain-clothes, pointed a pistol at
Plaintiff inches from the closed driver's window.
Detective Jones had jumped out of a black, unmarked SUV, and
an unmarked black sedan had pulled across the front of
Plaintiff s car.
holding the pistol at Plaintiffs face for about three
seconds, Detective Jones tried to smash in the driver's
window, but Plaintiff reversed his car for about five feet as
Detective Jones placed the muzzle of the pistol against the
driver's window. Officer McCall, who wore a uniform, ran
to the car and smashed the driver's window with a baton.
At that moment, Detective Coffin, who wore a jacket reading
"POLICE" in large white letters, and Detective
Johnson, another officer who wore plain clothes and a vest
displaying a police badge and "POLICE" written in
smaller white letters, joined Detective Jones and Officer
McCall at the driver's door. Although just out of the
camera's view, it appears the four officers at the
driver's door negotiated with Plaintiff or tried to pull
him out of the car, but the viewer can hear the officers
repeatedly ordering Plaintiff to not move his hands. Forty
seconds elapsed between when the driver's window was
smashed and Detective Jones removed Plaintiff from the car.
Jones forced Plaintiff to the ground just in front of the
bumper of Officer McCall's car and about five feet from
the driver's door of Plaintiff s car. Officer McCall
immediately helped Detective Jones secure Plaintiff on the
ground. The video shows the heads, shoulders, and backs of
the officers in front of the bumper, but the viewer cannot
see Plaintiff due to the angle of the dashcam.
eight seconds of Plaintiff hitting the ground, Officer McCall
unholstered his Taser while approximately four other officers
skirmished with Plaintiff on the ground. Detective Coffin
shouted, "Taser! Taser! Taser!" A second later,
Officer McCall deployed the Taser, Plaintiff began screaming,
'and an officer shouts, "Give me your arm!"
After about thirty seconds, the officers stop skirmishing on
top of Plaintiff. Detective Coffin secured leg irons to
Plaintiffs legs as Plaintiff began to scream. Detectives
Seitz and Jones returned to their SUV, drove away, and did
screamed intermittently for the next few minutes until the
officers on top of Plaintiff do something out of the
dashcam's view. Plaintiff began screaming again, and the
officers again skirmished on top of Plaintiff. About a minute
later, Officer McCall removed Plaintiffs belt, Plaintiff and
the officers talked for several minutes until Plaintiff
screamed again, and the parties talked for several more
minutes. Plaintiff resumed screaming for a little more than a
four minutes later, Detective Coffin stood Plaintiff up, and
the officers and Plaintiff moved completely out of view. The
officers told Plaintiff to sit on the roadway, and Plaintiff
screamed again while an officer shouted, "Stop
resisting!" A police van arrived about a minute later.
Detective Wormley, Detective Johnson, Detective Coffin, and
Officer McCall carried Plaintiff, who was bucking, flailing,
and screaming, into the back of the police van. ...