Anthony Oliver recently filed a lawsuit against Chatham County Sheriff's Deputy Franklin R. Rollins Jr. for allegedly breaking his jaw, kicking him, and using excessive force during an arrest on Jan. 23 in Effingham County, Georgia (video below).
The Savannah Morning News notes that Oliver also accused Rollins, who was serving as a U.S. Marshal at the time of the incident, of hitting his car twice and totaling it.
Additionally, Oliver said that Rollins tossed his body camera into a pond. The camera was eventually retrieved, and its recently-released footage shows part of the incident.
Oliver said the incident began when an unmarked black truck rammed his car, which prompted him to get out of his vehicle only to find a man pointing a gun at him. According to Oliver, the man didn't identify himself as a cop or use any lights and sirens.
Oliver got back in his car, and called 911, which is about when the video begins.
In the video, the 911 dispatcher told Oliver that the black truck was a U.S. Marshal, and that he should pull over.
Oliver called an unidentified woman, confirmed to her that it was a U.S. Marshal. As Oliver pulled over, the black truck reportedly rammed his car a second time.
Oliver got out of his vehicle, and was told to get on the ground by several law-enforcement officers who were following behind the black truck, and he did.
According to Oliver, he was kicked by Rollins, who was wearing steel-toed boots. Oliver said that Rollins took the body camera, and threw it into a nearby pond, presumably to get rid of any evidence of the alleged attack.
The lawsuit says that Effingham County Sheriff’s deputies stood by and did nothing as Oliver was beaten.
On the video, Oliver is heard groaning in pain. Toward the end, the camera is picked up and tossed into a pond.
Oliver recalled that he repeatedly asked for medical treatment, but did not receive care for nine hours.
Craig Bonnell, Oliver’s attorney, told the Savannah Morning News: "The video proves [Rollins] was angry and it proves that he had something to hide. If there had been no misconduct, why get rid of the camera?"
Rollins did not comment to the newspaper, but Chatham Sheriff John Wilcher stated that Oliver has "mental issues."
Wilcher did not go into detail about his medical diagnosis, but added: "We did an internal investigation. Everything he alleges is untrue."
Despite the video of the camera being tossed into the pond, Wilcher said he doesn’t know anything about it disappearing, and insisted: "We had it in our evidence room."
According to WSAV, the sheriff's office said that the camera was later retrieved by Chatham County inmates, and was returned to Oliver.
"Once I was down on the ground a probation officer came and kicked me in the right rib cage and then they jumped on top of me," Oliver told the news station.
WSAV notes that Oliver has filed 27 federal lawsuits in the last eight years, many having to do with law enforcement.
Bonnell told the Savannah Morning News that Effingham County Sheriff’s deputies were present when Oliver was arrested, and that their dash cam videos would likely show that Rollins kicked Oliver, and tossed his body camera into the pond.
"If Effingham can’t or won’t produce that video, it almost doesn’t make a difference," Bonnell stated. "It won’t to a jury."
Oliver's arrest was over a missing/delayed $81 payment on a California drunken driving fine.
According to Oliver, he had previously been to the Chatham jail twice over the same $81 fine.
Oliver recalled that he was late on paying the $81 because of Hurricane Matthew and his move to Georgia.
Oliver is suing Rollins, Chatham and Effingham counties, their sheriffs and 10 officers who are reported to have witnessed the arrest.
On a side note, Oliver said that his $3,500 English bulldog puppy, which was in the car, disappeared during the stop.
According to Oliver, his insurance company will not pay for his totaled 2016 Volkswagen Jetta because the car was damaged during a police chase.