A man tased after a traffic stop in February 2009 was awarded $50,000 last week through a civil lawsuit against two Columbia police officers.
The case was dismissed with prejudice in Missouri’s Western District U.S. Court through mediation, with each party ordered to bear its own fees and court costs. The suit alleged violations of civil rights, negligence, assault and battery.
The plaintiff, Cadilac Derrick, 24, could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Samuel Trapp, and the officers’ attorney, Robert Krehbiel, declined to comment.
Soon after the lawsuit’s filing, a Columbia police spokeswoman claimed much of the information in the suit to be incorrect and said police reports supported the officers’ actions. Columbia police declined to comment today on the resolution of the case.
“We urge the public to follow this case very carefully,” former police spokeswoman Jessie Haden said when the suit was filed.
On Feb. 24, 2009, Derrick was driving his registered Subaru down Providence Road when Officers Tim Giger and John Logan pulled him over, according to the lawsuit. Both officers are now assigned to the investigations unit.
A video shows the incident captured by police cameras. The officers approached each side of the car, in which Derrick’s girlfriend, Amanda Reed, and her 3-year-old child were passengers. Derrick handed officers his license and registration and asked why he was being pulled over. One officer can then be heard telling Derrick to get out of the car.
Derrick remained seated and asked for his license back. At that point, Haden said, Derrick reached for his waistband and toward the console, and the officer on the passenger side fired his Taser through the window, according to police reports. Derrick thrashed and fell from the car, then attempted to run. A scuffle can be heard outside the view of the camera.
According to the lawsuit, the officers assaulted Derrick, “placing him in a chokehold, beating him with their fists and knees” and then sprayed mace into his eye. Derrick was then arrested. Trapp said previously the officers appeared disappointed when no weapon or marijuana was found in the vehicle.
Criminal charges filed against Derrick for resisting arrest were dismissed just before Trapp filed the lawsuit in July 2010. Trapp said the prosecutor couldn’t show Derrick knew why he was being detained, which resulted in a dismissal of charges.
An internal affairs investigation found Logan and Giger acted properly.
Trapp has been an outspoken opponent of Taser use. He was shot with one of the devices in August 2008 during a driving while intoxicated stop in which police said he resisted arrest. Trapp later pleaded guilty to the DWI charge. The Jefferson City attorney said he was working Taser-related cases long before his own incident and said he is against Taser use for compliance.
“I’m not in a popularity contest. I don’t care if cops or prosecutors don’t like me,” he said previously. “I think what I am doing is right and will be happy to be schooled in it if a jury thinks I am wrong.”
In: Regional News
Tags: taser, tazed, lawsuit, jury, verdict, dashcam, caught on tape, police, cops, use of force
Location: Columbia, Missouri, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved, featured
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