A Texas man filed a lawsuit against the Galveston Police Department claiming that officers savagely beat him and forced his head underwater.
Reginald Deon Davis filed the federal lawsuit against the city of Galveston, Texas, and officers Archie Chapman Jr. and Jose H. Santos Jr. because of an incident that reportedly took place in March.
The suit, which was filed Monday and accuses the city of failing to properly train its officers, asks for damages to be determined by a jury, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The suit details how Davis traveled to Galveston the night before to attend a friend's birthday party. Afterward, he reportedly went to a local Denny's restaurant to study for a college exam the next morning.
Mail Online reports that the suit reads, “shortly after departing Denny's to go back to his home in La Marque, Mr. Davis realized he was extremely exhausted and decided to pull his car over on the seawall and rest before driving home.”
The 34-year-old Davis then fell asleep, allegedly unaware that sleeping in a car parked on the seawall is illegal without a camping permit.
Davis was reportedly awakened by officer Santos Jr., who asked Davis to get out of his vehicle and place his hands on the hood of the police cruiser. Instead, Davis ran onto the beach, where he was hit with a Taser in the back and tackled by Santos.
A dashboard camera recorded the incident and shows Davis lying face down in the sand with the officer on top of him. A moment later, the grainy footage shows another officer, identified as Chapman Jr., approach the two men on the beach and allegedly kick Davis in the head multiple times.
Then, both officers proceed to strike Davis' head numerous times with their fists, according to the complaint.
The suit reportedly also states, “Mr. Davis does not appear to resist until it becomes clear that he is in fear of drowning. In fact, during this entire incident, Mr. Davis can be heard yelling, ‘I can't breathe’ and ‘You're trying to drown me.’”
Police Chief Henry Porretto said Davis had been convicted on two previous drug charges and was facing a possible third strike. He said Davis grabbed something from the seat of the car and put it in his pocket before running. An internal police investigation completed before Davis filed a complaint determined that officers used necessary force, Porretto said.
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