Federal Lawsuit Filed in Response to Humphreys County Police Beating
Darren T. Ring, a 35-year-old resident of the City of Waverly, has had a federal civil rights lawsuit filed on his behalf in response to an alleged instance of police brutality, which I reported on in the July 2011 article “Police Beating Caught on Tape.” Ring is represented by attorney David Raybin, a distinguished member of the Nashville law firm Raybin and Weissman, who has filed suit against Humphreys County, the City of Waverly, Humphreys County Sheriff Chris Davis, Humphreys County deputies Timothy Hedge, James P. McCord, and James B. Lee, as well as Waverly police officers Joseph Parnell and Kinta Bell. Moreover, Raybin alleges that on January 23, 2011, the actions of Sheriff Davis, his deputies and the Waverly police “amounted to excessive force and were unlawful, shocking to the conscience and unconstitutional.”
The complaint spans a stunning 44 pages, including a full transcript of the audio from a police dash camera, in addition to the camera’s video. In the video, four officers are seen repetitively punching and kicking Ring, as he lay half naked and restrained on the ground, striking him with police batons, and even shocking him with a Taser. Although, Ring’s ribs were fractured, one of his lungs punctured, and his body covered with bruises and other signs of attack, medical care was delayed until the following morning. It is further alleged that the assault continued after Ring was incarcerated with Davis pushing Ring’s head into the cell wall, in addition to another deputy using a Taser on Ring in his cell while he was cuffed and shackled on the floor of his jail cell.
The suit further seeks punitive damages against the officers involved, as well as “those damages to which Ring may appear to be entitled to by proof submitted in the case for his physical and mental pain and suffering both past and future, loss of enjoyment of life, and the violation of his rights guaranteed to him” by the Constitution. As of September 2011, deputies Hedge, McCord and Lee have been fired, in addition to one of the Waverly Police officers involved resigning. County Mayor Jessie Wallace has since stated the firings were due to 20 percent of the county’s officers being paid at home while the county was accumulating sizeable overtime. Although the sheriff has publicly claimed the actions taken were consistent with the departments training, it will be up to a jury to decide if the training is in fact consistent with the Constitution.
Federal lawsuit filed in videotaped deputies beating
Posted By: Eston Whiteside