Last December, a Las Cruces, New Mexico man was arrested for pointing a rifle at a neighbor during a parking space dispute and for not complying with police officers’ instructions at the scene. I don’t think anyone has a problem with his being arrested. That’s not the issue.
While Russ Flynn was handcuffed in a jail cell, the he said he mouthed off to a cop and then kicked the cell door. After that, two cops barged in and started beating the guy up, kneeing him in the gut, and slamming him up against the wall. His head hit the wall so hard that it cracked his skull and required that he be transported to the ICU.
The jailed man admitted that he kicked the cell door out of frustration. In the surveillance video, you can see him barely tap the door with his foot. And since there’s no audio, we can’t make out what he said to the cops. Whatever he said I’m sure didn’t warrant the response he got from police. KRQE reported:
What happened next, was captured on surveillance video. It shows Officers Richard Garcia and Danny Salcido using force on Flynn – so much that he ended up in the ICU.
“It’s absolutely shocking. It was a vicious attack on Mr. Flynn,” said attorney Christopher Cardenas with the Lahann Law Firm, which is representing Flynn. “Mr. Flynn was handcuffed. He was already in police custody. So he was posing no threat to the officers.”
No one at LCPD would talk to KRQE News 13, but Garcia describes the incident differently in a supplemental report.
“[Flynn] was walked back all the way where he did hit his back and head against the wall,” Garcia writes.
Garcia says he used knee kicks “to distract him from grabbing at the officer’s belt.”
It also says that at one point, Flynn pinned the officer between him and the wall.
“The report by the officer doesn’t exactly follow what was recorded in the video,” Cardenas said. “As a matter of fact, the officer seems to be shifting as much blame to Mr. Flynn as possible.”
Flynn’s attorneys sent notice to the City of Las Cruces that they intend to sue. They’re asking for $12.5 million.
“There needs to be repercussions for that,” Cardenas said. “Otherwise, what will end up occuring is, these situations will be repeated because there will be no punishment.”
Flynn’s attorneys also sent a letter to the Dona Ana County District Attorney’s office on Tuesday, pressing for criminal charges against the officers.
Like so many other cases of excessive police force, their side of the story didn’t jive with the video footage recorded. I honestly don’t understand why cops would bother trying to get away with lying in their report when they know they have surveillance cameras staring right at them the entire time.