Another instance of police abuse! What a coincidence; I have a man coming in this morning with a similar tale; the cop shattered his teeth on Friday.
Excerpts from the Article:
A federal lawsuit has been filed against a Wilmington police officer seen on social media repeatedly slamming a man’s head during an arrest last month inside a Southbridge convenience store.
In addition to using “excessive force,” the lawsuit filed in Wilmington’s U.S. District Court claims Wilmington Patrolman Samuel Waters used a racial slur when arresting 44-year-old Dwayne Brown who is Black. Waters is white.
The lawsuit, filed by the Jacobs & Crumplar Law Firm, claims Waters called Brown the N-word.
“Such racial statements are reflective of his state of mind and discriminatory intent in this incident,” the lawsuit states.
Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki’s office issued a statement Monday afternoon.
“While we can’t comment on pending legal matters, we can confirm that an officer was placed on administrative duty related to this matter, and that an investigation of the incident is continuing which we hope to have wrapped up as quickly as possible,” Purzycki’s Deputy Chief of Staff John Rago said.
Wilmington police, who placed Waters on administrative duty before the video of the Sept. 21 incident went viral, said its Office of Professional Standards immediately launched an investigation into what the video captured.
No public press release about Brown’s arrest or the investigation was issued by the department until a Delaware Online/The News Journal reporter asked about the incident.
It was not known Monday what Waters’ current status is with the department. . The Wilmington Police Department has not released the officer’s name, but said he has been on the force for three years.
The lawsuit, which names only Waters as a defendant, claims Brown’s constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable seizures guaranteed to him by the Fourth and 14th Amendments were violated.
The suit seeks that Brown be awarded, among other things, compensatory and punitive damages. The lawsuit states that the repeated slamming during the arrest has caused Brown to suffer serious physical and emotional injuries.
A press release issued by Brown’s lawyers asks that anyone who knows of other incidents of “improper actions” by Waters to come forward.
Attorney Thomas C. Crumplar gives remarks during a press conference earlier this month in which he asked for full transparency in an incident where his client was slammed into a plexiglass wall by a Wilmington officer.
Earlier this month, civil rights activists called for Waters’ firing and arrest.
Members of the Delaware NAACP also said they want the resignation of Wilmington Police Chief Robert J. Tracy and a federal investigation of the Wilmington Police Department and other police agencies that have continuously mistreated people of color in the state.
“This incident is just the one straw that broke the camel’s back,” New Castle County Councilman Jea Street said during an Oct. 4 press conference.
The activists and Brown’s lawyers have urged the department to release Water’s body camera footage.
The incident, however, was captured on surveillance video and shared widely on social media.
The video shows Brown inside 3 C’s Food Market in Southbridge ready to leave when he stops to let a man on crutches enter. Brown then appears to start speaking to someone.
That’s when the officer appears in the frame.
The officer grabs Brown’s right wrist and begins to turn him, putting Brown’s right hand on plexiglass near the cashier. Brown, who is turning his head over his right shoulder, can be seen saying something to the officer.
As the officer has Brown turned toward the plexiglass, the officer then grabs Brown’s left wrist and, with his body, slams Brown toward the plexiglass. This, according to the lawsuit, occurred despite Brown not being “combative, physically aggressive, actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.”
The officer then takes his left hand and grabs the back of Brown’s head, banging it twice against the plexiglass before taking Brown down. Both the officer and Brown then disappear from view.
The lawsuit claims Waters never identified himself as a police officer and that he did not give a warning that use of force would be used as the department directive requires.
According to the lawsuit, Brown was taken outside the store where Waters continued to use excessive force. During this time, Brown feared he would end up being killed, according to the lawsuit.
“Given the current national climate regarding police brutality and in light of the Eric Garner, George Floyd, and countless other cases involving members of law enforcement killing black men, Mr. Brown was in fear for his life when he was brutally beaten and slammed against the convenience store wall,” the lawsuit states.
Dwayne Brown, right, whose head was slammed by a Wilmington officer, attends a press conference at Spencer Plaza in Wilmington on Oct. 4, 2021. The resignation of Wilmington’s police chief and the arrest and firing of the officer was sought.
All of this occurred despite police knowing that Brown had no violent adult criminal record or history of violence as an adult, the lawsuit states.
The officer said in court documents that Brown has a “no contact” order prohibiting him from being on New Castle Avenue, the street on which 3C’s is located. The no-contact order stems from a May incident in which Brown was charged with possession of marijuana and a controlled substance.
That case is pending in Superior Court.
After his September arrest, Brown was charged with two counts of harassment, resisting arrest, breach of release and possession of marijuana. Brown was released on $4,100 unsecured bail.