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Many of the worst incidents of police brutality involve a much larger officer attacking a defenseless person who is older or younger, and clearly poses no threat of violence.
The city of Midland had to pay out a settlement to a woman who was injured at the local airport by an officer after she had returned from her destination in Canada.
Midland officer beats elderly woman at an airport
When the incident began, the victim was with her husband and talking loudly on her cellphone. The officer involved received a report of some kind of disturbance nearby, although it is unclear exactly why he made contact with the victim. He began to speak to her after she got off the phone, and attempted to arrest her. Part of the struggle between the two was captured on video, and the officer is seen taking the elderly woman to the ground. He claimed that she made a fist and resisted arrest, although witnesses in the area claim that there was nothing she did to indicate that she was acting violently.
During their struggle, the victim urinated on herself, complained that she could not breathe, and the officer cut her purse strap. Her husband watched as his wife was taken into custody by the officer and manhandled. She also broke her glasses and sustained injuries to one of her thighs while she was on the ground. The victim also claims that she has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder following the violent altercation.
After expert review of the case, there seemed to be little to justify the actions of an officer who weighed over 225 pounds at 6 feet tall, using force against a much smaller 69 year old woman. The judge assigned to the case also agreed with the victim, saying there was no objective reasonableness to the officer’s actions, and this was a clear incident of police brutality.
The victim asked for $4 million for excessive use of force, treatment for injuries, and mental trauma caused by the encounter. An internal affairs investigation following the incident suspended the officer for several days without pay while the allegations against him were sustained.
The criminal charges against the victim for resisting arrest were dropped shortly after their encounter.
Formal complaints against an officer
This case involved a formal complaint to the department that was investigated and sustained by internal affairs. Victims should both speak with a lawyer and go through the process with the department’s internal affairs to receive the best chance of success. The attorney will need to go through a separate process to bring a civil rights case in the local courts.
Attorneys can assist with a claim against police officers
There are lawyers in the Midland area who regularly handle cases against the police. The Cooper Law Firm assists local clients with advice and representation.