The attorney for a Texarkana man who claims deputies at the Garland County Detention Center used excessive force against him last March said she has video of the alleged incident.
Valerie Goudie of the Wallace, Martin, Duke & Russell law firm in Little Rock said she requested the video shortly after William Moser was arrested March 6, 2016, on a public intoxication charge.
County Attorney Ralph Ohm provided The Sentinel-Record with a copy of the video Wednesday afternoon.
The lawsuit Moser filed last week claims five unnamed deputies used excessive force against him after he asked to call his wife, who was unaware he had been arrested. He alleges deputies threw him to the ground of a holding cell while he was handcuffed, causing his head to hit the ground and knocking him unconscious.
The complaint said Moser had to be taken to the hospital and have staples applied to close a gash to his forehead, leaving a scar that is still visible.
"The best thing we can do is go to court and show the video," Goudie said. "There's the permanent disfigurement, but there's other physical abuse that occurred."
The detention center's $1.6 million security electronics system features 270 cameras. According to the sheriff's department, video is preserved for 29 days before the system records over it.
Goudie said the deputies' actions aren't protected by the qualified-immunity doctrine, which shields public officials from liabilities they may incur while doing their jobs.
"There's a reason it's qualified immunity," she said. "There are areas that are not immune from prosecution or civil suit. It depends on what you're alleging. We're alleging excessive use of force."
Moser's complaint makes a claim against the unnamed deputies and Garland County under the federal statute that holds public officials liable for violating constitutionally-protected rights. He's also suing the deputies and the county for violating the Arkansas Civil Rights Act.
The deputies, county and the county's insurance carrier are named as defendants in the battery claim. The lawsuit was filed on the one-year anniversary of the alleged incident. State law limits the filing period for a civil battery claim to within one year of when the battery was alleged to occur.
Moser is suing for damages, including punitive damages. The public intoxication charge against him was withdrawn in January, according to court records.
Local on 03/16/2017