After fighting police officers and suffering a brutal beating, a man filed a civil rights lawsuit accusing them of using excessive force. Despite what everyone assumed, the jury rendered a surprising decision.
After receiving a tip-off, Columbus Police arrived at Livingston Market convenience store to arrest Timothy Davis, who had multiple outstanding warrants for violent crimes, according to WCBE. Expectedly, when officers attempted to arrest Davis, he wasn’t willing to cooperate.
A bystander captured video footage of the altercation, which showed Davis refusing to comply with officers. As he relentlessly resists, officers can be seen kicking, punching, and yelling profanities at Davis. Some of his hair was reportedly pulled out during the scuffle and his pants and boxers had slid down to his knees. After several minutes, Davis is subdued and transported to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center for treatment for his injuries, WOSU reports.
Officer Joseph Bogard was temporarily relieved of his duties for commenting to another officer, “What did we tase him for? Why don’t we choke the f— life out of him?” Soon after, Davis filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city and the nine officers involved, claiming they used excessive force and discrimination due to his race. The lawsuit also alleged that officers tried blocking bystanders from filming.
Upon investigation, both the police department and the city denied the accusations, arguing that the officers acted within protocol. They also pointed to the fact that Davis was wanted on several warrants for violent crimes, including assaulting a police officer. The city acknowledged that the comments by Officer Bogard were inappropriate but that they weren’t responsible for such remarks.
Rallies and protests were formed to demand not only that Davis be transferred to another medical facility for “higher care” for his injuries, but also that the officers involved be held liable.
“His injuries were so bad, he had to be brought in on a wheelchair to go to court,” a protester addressed the council at Columbus City Hall. “During his court hearing on Friday, his family saw his condition was bad and they cried out at the sight of him. The judge didn’t show no kind of sympathy, no compassion at all, the presiding judge. He told them to refrain from crying. Timothy is still in detention and was scheduled to appear in court today for assaulting an officer. He was beaten by plain-clothes officers, plain-clothes Columbus Police.”
After a lengthy trial, a jury rejected that the officers had violated Davis’ civil rights and determined that they had used appropriate force when they arrested him. The court also decided that the officers had not attempted to hinder bystanders from filming and that all allegations against the nine officers are invalid, WBNS reports.
City Attorney Zach Klein released a statement, saying: “We’re grateful for the jury who took their time to consider all of the facts and evidence when deciding this case, and we respect their decision.”
Davis was returned to his prison cell, where he will be serving a 30-month sentence for previously assaulting a police officer. His attorney has yet to comment on the ruling and it is unclear whether he will pursue additional legal action.
The video is difficult to watch as it captures the gruesome injuries and humiliation Davis suffered. However, as the court has solidified, the police officers were within protocol and used an acceptable amount of force in order to subdue and arrest their violent suspect.
While many expected that Davis’ wounds and mortification would be enough to garner the public’s sympathy and sway the jury, his criminal history and response to officers’ orders proved to be the nail in his lawsuit’s coffin.
Davis has lived by violent means and, therefore, has suffered the consequences of his actions. It’s incredible that a criminal may resort to violent means to evade justice and receive only sympathy, but if an officer uses such methods to detain said violent criminal, they are held blameworthy.