Excessive Use of Force by Police Leads to Paralysis, Permanent Injuries


Police Use of ForceThis case involves two internal affairs officers who were pursuing a suspect wanted on assault and weapons charges. During their pursuit, they located the plaintiff, who has no criminal history. They confronted and struck the plaintiff approximately 50 times, even though he complied with the officers’ instructions and did not fight back. He is now paralyzed from the neck down. In addition to his neck injuries, he suffered numerous broken teeth, a large laceration to his forehead and swelling of his skull. A recent CT scan also revealed a previously undiscovered brain aneurysm.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Are you familiar with the proper steps and protocols for approaching a potential suspect to determine who they actually are?
  • 2. Please explain why you are qualified to review this case.

Expert Witness Response E-027188

I am familiar with the proper steps/protocols for approaching a suspect of any kind. I spent 36 years in policing, 32 years at LAPD, and as an LAPD Deputy Chief of Police reviewed dozens of serious use of force cases and their investigations. These reviews included assessing tactics leading up to the use of force, training before and after the force is used, the objective reasonableness of force applied in each case, and compliance with law (particularly Graham v. Connor) and policy. For 7 years I was the executive overseeing LAPD’s Professional Standards Bureau, including the division that conducted all serious force investigations, and I had to make decisions on assessing the uses of force in LAPD Use of Force Boards as part of my duties. If the facts are as stated, this is clearly a case of excessive force.

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