Society

Did This Cop Break An Elderly Man's Ribs At Wal-Mart? (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Juan MartinezJuan Martinez

Body camera video (below) of police officer Demerriell Young confronting an elderly man inside of a Wal-Mart on October 3, 2014 in Buda, Texas, surfaced on Oct. 6.

Robert Ranco, the lawyer representing Juan Martinez and his wife Guadalupe, explained the start of the incident to KVUE:

They got separated at some point while shopping. He in his scooter, she in her scooter, and then she tried to find him. And in the process of finding him, it's my understanding that she inadvertently might have gone out or near one of the doors.

According to Ranco, Wal-Mart loss-prevention employees took Guadalupe into a store office and accused her of shoplifting.

In the video, Young walks into the store office where Guadalupe is being held; Juan enters moments later.

Young tells Juan to step outside, but the 73-year-old says that Guadalupe is his wife and has not done anything wrong.

Young tells Juan to step outside again, and threatens to arrest him for interfering if he does not. Juan replies, "Go ahead."

Young then tells the elderly man to turn around and the officer puts his hands on him. Juan is seen falling onto the floor as Young grasps his wrist.

Juan cries out in pain, while Young blocks Guadalupe from checking on her injured husband.

"Have a seat for me, ma'am," Young tells her. "I did not do anything."

"You pushed him," Guadalupe replies.

Young repeatedly tells Guadalupe to sit down.

Authorities charged Juan, who suffered several broken ribs, with interfering with the duties of a public servant. His wife was charged with theft. Their trial is on Oct. 17, reports the Austin American-Statesman.

Ranco, who has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the couple against the City of Buda, Young and Wal-Mart, told KVUE :

We all have the right not to be abused. Not to have police officers excessively use force against us. When there is an excessive use of force, that's an infringement of our fourth amendment rights.

When we look at Mr. Martinez in this circumstance, I think everything he did was completely reasonable, he was frustrated, he was not completely compliant, but he also was not aggressive and he didn't pose any threat to anybody.

Wal-Mart said in a statement: "We take this matter seriously. We haven’t been served with the complaint yet. Once we have the opportunity to review the allegations, we’ll respond appropriately with the court."

The Buda Police Department said it had not been served, and neither had the city. They both refused to comment to KVUE, and Young could not be reached.

The Austin American-Statesman asked for a police report on the 2-year-old incident, but city officials have not released it.

A police department spokeswoman said Young is still employed, and has not had a disciplinary suspension.

There has not been any mention of a store surveillance video of the alleged shoplifting.

(Note: Incident happens at 1:20 mark)

Sources: KVUE, Austin American-Statesman / Photo Credit: Buda Police Department via YouTube

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