A man who was shot in the head by a sheriff’s deputy during a protest outside a Texas county jail is suing the county and the sheriff, alleging excessive force and civil rights violations, court records show.
Posted July 27, 2018 06:59:03 A Texas man who spent a month in a Dallas jail after he was charged with a felony after being detained for two days because of a protest against the jail death of a mentally ill inmate says he was handcuffed, punched and tasered while he was held on the ground for hours and left for dead.
Mark L. Taylor, 34, is suing Dallas County Sheriff Ronald Hickman and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, accusing the sheriff of violating his civil rights.
Taylor says he suffered injuries to his head, face and back that led to permanent brain damage and a mental disability.
He also is suing for damages, arguing the sheriff used excessive force in a protest that included an alleged shooting by a deputy and the arrest of two men in retaliation.
The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Austin, alleges Hickman, who retired in July after being elected to a second term, violated his civil and constitutional rights.
Hickman and district attorney Devon Anderson are both under criminal investigation for violating Taylor’s civil rights, including violating his constitutional rights to due process and equal protection.
In the lawsuit, Taylor’s attorneys said he was arrested and charged with trespassing and resisting arrest after he and two other people entered the Dallas jail.
They claim that Hickman detained Taylor, who was mentally ill, without reasonable suspicion that he was in possession of a weapon, that he did not comply with officers’ orders and that he resisted arrest by putting his hands up and putting his feet up.
Taylor was booked into jail but later released after he agreed to an interview with a sheriff-deputy.
He is suing, as well as Anderson, for violations of his civil liberties, and alleging that officers retaliated against him because he reported the incident.
Hicksman and Anderson have said they did not know Taylor was mentally unstable when he was booked.
The sheriff has said the incident was an accident.
Taylor, who is white, is the son of a retired police officer and has worked as a volunteer for the Texas chapter of the NAACP.
He was arrested while protesting the death of William J. Lunsford, who had been sentenced to die for murder.
In January, a judge ordered that Hickam be fired and the district attorney be removed from office.
In February, a federal judge ordered an investigation into the events leading up to Lunsfield’s death.
Hippman said he believed Taylor’s injuries were self-inflicted and that Taylor was complying with officers.
In his lawsuit, he said that during his detention Taylor “was unable to speak because he had a stroke.”
Taylor said he could hear his head banging against the floor when he and his fellow prisoners were held down and that they were shackled with zip ties to prevent them from escaping.
“He was not handcuffed because he did NOT want to be handcuffed,” the lawsuit says.
“The deputies then attempted to put a Taser gun in his hand, but he refused, saying, ‘I don’t want to do that.
I don’t need it.
It will kill me.'”
Hicksmen lawyers also say the deputy who shot Taylor was a former Dallas police officer who has since retired.
Taylor said in an interview that he and other prisoners were told to stand still and to keep quiet because they had not been charged with any crimes.
He said the jail officers ordered him to lie on the floor and told him he was going to have to eat something.
Taylor and his lawyers say the officers failed to handcuff him and then tase him, but they did handcuff the other prisoners.
Taylor said they tased him in retaliation for being arrested for trespassing.
“Hicksmants actions are designed to silence and punish me for exercising my rights as a citizen,” the suit says.
Hiccups, gasps and wheezing in his jail cell are the only sounds heard during the time Taylor was held, according to his lawyers.
He did not have his cell phone, so the lawsuit said his cell was taped shut.
Taylor’s attorney, James Miller, told The Associated Press in an email that Taylor’s lawsuit is being considered by a small group of attorneys.
Miller said he believes Taylor is trying to sue for $5 million.
Taylor is one of about 20 people who have been held in a jail for protesting in Dallas, Houston and Austin in the past year.
The cases have drawn national attention and spurred protests by people of color, religious minorities and immigrants.
Huckabee says Trump will not release body cameras after killing of Sandra BlandIn response to Taylor’s death, Gov.
Greg Abbott on Thursday ordered Texas officials to install body cameras for every jail employee by the end of the year.
Abbott said the cameras would be used to document interactions between police and inmates.
He said the body cameras would help ensure that inmates’ voices are heard.