Woman Settles Assault By Police Lawsuit
An assault by police lawsuit against the city of Jasper, Texas, has been settled for $75,000, according to the attorneys for Keyarika Diggles, who now hopes that criminal charges will be filed against the officers. The assault was captured on video as Diggles was shoved to the floor while a female dispatcher looked on. Later, Diggles was strip-searched by the dispatcher.
On May 5, 2013, Diggles was arrested on suspicion of unpaid traffic tickets. Video of the intake area where Diggles was waiting to be processed shows officers Ricky Grissom and Ryan Cunningham shoving Diggles during what appeared to be a verbal altercation. The two officers then twist Diggles' arms behind her back, grab her by the hair and shove her to the floor as Lindsey Davenport, the dispatcher, stands watching. At one point, articles of Diggles' clothing and her shoes are pulled off by the officers and thrown down a hallway, before she is grabbed by the ankle and dragged to a holding cell. Davenport is seen holding the door for the officers as they drag her across the floor and into the cell. Another camera angle shows the officers bringing articles of clothing out of the cell, apparently removed during a strip search of Diggles performed by Davenport.
The two officers were fired soon after the incident, and Davenport was fired at a later date. According to the city, Davenport was not qualified to perform the search. Diggles' attorneys say that the lawsuit was meant to bring to light a culture of racism and conspiracy in Jasper, and they feel that the goal was accomplished. Jasper County District Attorney Steve Hollis has not announced if any criminal charges would be filed against the officers, although Cade Bernsen, an attorney for Diggles, said that the video clearly shows that the men should be charged with assault.
According to court documents, Diggles was left on the floor for hours without medical attention. Her braces were knocked loose, she suffered a chipped tooth, and hair was torn from her head during the struggle. The settlement ends the lawsuit that included the officers, Davenport, Jasper Mayor Mike Lout and police Capt. Gerald Hall.
When a police officer or other city official uses unnecessary force during an arrest or other interaction with the public that results in injury or death, a personal injury case may be in order. Contact Dallas-Fort Worth lawyers at Frenkel & Frenkel to schedule a free consultation regarding an altercation with a city official where injuries may have been caused or worsened due to their unnecessary force.