Article Comment 

Lawsuit claims deputies used excessive force

 

 

Lowndes County Sheriff Butch Howard and several county deputies are being sued over a laundry list of complaints of police brutality. The plaintiff and his attorney are looking for $2 million in damages. 

 


Howard is being sued along with deputies Ashley Harris and Clinton Lester. Five other names were also listed in the suit, but according to Howard, there are no deputies working for the Lowndes County Sheriff''s Department who share the names listed. Howard said there were also no deputies working for the department with those names at the time of the alleged incident.  

 


Cvester Brand Jr. alleges that on July 18, 2008, several deputies came to his home and shocked him with a Taser while he was holding his two small children. The complaint says the Taser shock caused Brand to fall onto a concrete driveway on top of the children. 

 


The complaint further alleges the deputies beat Brand while screaming verbal abuses at him. Brand was then handcuffed and shackled to a restraint chair, the suit says. 

 


"Once Plaintiff Mr. Brand was handcuffed to the restraint chair, Deputy Allen, Deputy Stafford, Deputy Rhodes, Deputy Harris, Deputy Brackett, and Deputy Lester watched as Deputy Shelton used the Taser on Plaintiff Mr. Brand for over 30 minutes ending when Plaintiff Brand passed out," reads the lawsuit. 

 


"Those allegations of excess force didn''t happen," said Columbus attorney Katherine Kerby, who is representing the county in the case. 

 


Kerby said she expects the county will win the case. 

 


"It is my expectation this case will be won by Lowndes County and its officers in a pretrial motion," she said. 

 


She also noted there were several errors in the lawsuit which was filed, not the least of which was the naming of several defendants who do not exist. 

 


"You cannot successfully sue something or someone that doesn''t exist," she said. "Despite that, this case is completely without merit." 

 


Kerby was hired onto the case Thursday. 

 


The case was originally filed in Lowndes County, but was moved Friday to federal court. The case was moved by Kerby due to the eighth count of the complaint, which claims Brand''s civil rights were violated by his experience. 

 


Brand''s complaint apparently stems from a 911 call in which Brand''s wife Joanne-- named as a co-plaintiff in the suit -- called for assistance. Apparently, the dispatchers were told Joanne Brand''s children were being held by Brand. According to Kerby, the deputies dispatched found Brand holding the children and believed him to be under the influence. The deputies further believed children were in danger. Brand was not arrested on the night in question, but was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle. 

 


Brand''s two children, who were involved in the incident, have also been named as plaintiffs in the suit. He is represented by Grenada attorney Carlos E. Moore and John Hughes of Olive Branch. 

 


"The main victim of the abuse is Cvester Brand Jr.," Moore said in a release. "His wife and children have joined him in the lawsuit as plaintiffs for having to witness such brutality and excessive use of force with a (Taser) at the hands of law enforcement officers." 

 


"There is simply no excuse for this type of behavior in a civilized society." 

 


No trial date has been set.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment MB commented at 3/11/2009 2:09:00 PM:

If this man loses this lawsuit then he should have to pay for the attorney fees for the county and whatever expenses they county accumulates. It just does not add up to me. Listing names of people that do not exist or work for the SO. Seems a little fishy! Another bill the hardworking taxpayers will have to pay!!!

 

Article Comment No Surprise commented at 3/11/2009 4:55:00 PM:

Why would someone lie about this some police officers are nice but some are just kids who got beat up and talked about in highschool now they were a badge and think they are super cop some police need to realize what they do to others will come back on them one day. They are more offensive towards young black males then any other people like when i get pulled over for something simple they ask were you going, can i search the car, and i could just be getting pulled over for no seat belt what type of sh%# is that! But thats why i keep a small recorder and camera in my car. Because columbus police officers think they are FBI or something they need to lower the amount of hours they do per day cause alot of them be drinking on the job it should be a law passed that they get pissed every 2 weeks for drugs and alcohol if guilty they should be fined and then we can get our hard earned tax dollars back what you think about that MB !!!!!

 

Article Comment Say what commented at 3/11/2009 7:30:00 PM:

Where there is smoke.....there is fire. I believe the deputies did something wrong. Can't wait to the whole truth comes out.

 

Article Comment Exhausted commented at 3/12/2009 7:48:00 AM:

Reading No Surprise's comments wore me out. I have a word of advice for you: PUNCTUATION.

 

Article Comment jamie commented at 3/12/2009 8:52:00 AM:

Exhausted, No surprise also has a problem with grammar.

This sounds like just another way for some low life to get free money. We'll see what happens!

 

Article Comment not suprised commented at 3/12/2009 10:48:00 AM:

Not surprised at all that the wife called the cops on this man and now wants to take his side. She thinks she can get some free money. And for "no surprise" to say that black males catch more grief than others is bull. There are plenty of whites that catch the same crap. If they wouldn't act like people owe them something b/c they are black then maybe they wouldn't get treated any different.

 

Article Comment not suprised commented at 3/12/2009 10:49:00 AM:

Not surprised at all that the wife called the cops on this man and now wants to take his side. She thinks she can get some free money. And for "no surprise" to say that black males catch more grief than others is bull. There are plenty of whites that catch the same crap. If they wouldn't act like people owe them something b/c they are black then maybe they wouldn't get treated any different.

 

Article Comment ZipperNut commented at 3/12/2009 11:29:00 AM:

It's very good that the case got moved out of Lowndes county. People from all over the state know how corrupt the police and judicial system are in Lowndes. It's really "no surprise" to hear of police brutality coming from those thugs, since they even make people disappear sometimes, like the guy who was being pursued by undercover officers and somehow ended up being found in the river a month later being eaten by turtles...
The sheriff probably has "unofficial" deputies that went out there and tased the hell out of that man while he was holding the children, and then they get removed from the official roll of deputies when a lawsuit gets filed. Hopefully the federal court will take an objective look at this suit, and pursue a real investigation of the alleged deputies' conduct.
The fact that the woman who originally called the law joined the suit against them says not that she "wants money" but probably that she changed her mind when she saw their brutal mishandling of the situation.

 

Article Comment Chris commented at 3/12/2009 11:48:00 AM:

Anyone know the latest on Joe Johnson and his alleged murder of that unarmed young man on behalf of the mayor's side business??
At least the county will Tase. In the city they'll kill you.
Any word on Joe's lawsuit?

 

Article Comment no surprise commented at 3/12/2009 1:21:00 PM:

By the way after you all comment on this scroll back up to my comment and read this:

"I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I" lol suckers make you mad don't it!!

 

Article Comment Jamie commented at 3/12/2009 2:24:00 PM:

HAHAHaaaa...It doesn't make me mad,it makes me laugh. I see displays of unintelligent babbling on a daily basis. It doesn't bother me in the least. It just makes me thankful for my education and general understanding of people in this town. I'm not mad at you, I love you.


And "no suprise" you will be back to see who comments back to you too.

 

Article Comment David commented at 3/12/2009 10:24:00 PM:

Yes,they are very bad and terrible offficer.I had a daugter that was arrested for disturbing the peace and my god brother was in the area. My brother was only tried to ask a question about my daugter. The officer wouldn't even let him ask them a question.They told him to step back and he did just what they said. As he was stepping back,they hit him from the back and throw him against the car and took him to jail for nothing. Do you and everyone think that is justice. This man went to court with several witness to testify. The officers told a lie about what happen and the judge didn't even consider the witness. These people are some cruel and prejudice officers.

 

Article Comment A child of God commented at 3/12/2009 10:35:00 PM:

The bible says in the book of Romans chapter 12 verse 19, Beloved, do not avenge yourselves,but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. The bible also says in the book of Colossians chapter 3 verse 25, But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality. Only God really knows what happened. I would not want to be the guilty one in His sight, because His judgement is about to come. My advice to both the plantiff and the officers is to repent.

 

Article Comment Fed Up commented at 3/13/2009 8:38:00 AM:

I am so sick of everybody saying "oh the police treated me wrong when i got arrested" or "The police only pick on black people". It's funny to me that whenever somebody gets arrested "they didn't do anything wrong". Please, do you think that people are that stupid? Get a life and open your eyes. I know most of the duputies myself and I know they would never do anything like this. They go out there do there jobs and they have to deal with low lifes like "no surprise" that doesn't have anything better to do than say blacks are picked on. I am so sick of the Race card always being thrown around. They are not picked on, they are the majority that is actually doing the crime. So if the shoe fits wear it.....

 

Article Comment Reality commented at 3/13/2009 9:57:00 AM:

Fed Up and other naive people: Have you ever spent any time with a black person in social situations or in driving around? Have you ever talked to a black person about what often goes on during a routine traffic stop? I've had my fair share of traffic tickets, but I have never been hassled the way I've seen black friends hassled by police officers. (I'm not talking about beatings here-- just hassling.) I'm not calling racism on anyone, but to people who say that racism doesn't exist and that all are treated equally, I say "wake up."

 

Article Comment Good cops vs Bad Cops commented at 3/13/2009 11:24:00 AM:

Their are good cops. These are the individuals in law enforcement who up hold the law without respect of persons. This means just because they may know the individual personally as a friend or aquainstance instead of letting them go they arrest the person for breaking the law, because they are doing their job upholding the law. They do not take up for fellow officers who they know by observation of are wrong. Sooner or later the truth will come out about this case and many of the people will be shocked of the out come just as Barack Obama is the first black african american president of the United States of America. There are many americans who can not stand it, but it is nothing that can be done about it but accept it. Bad cops on the other hand make GOOD COPS job much harder by incidents like this. Society does not trust the police officers because of BAD COPS ( that are few in number) because there are more GOOD COPS vs bad cops. BELIEVE THAT !!!!!!!! LET US COME TOGETHER TO RID OUR SOCIETY OF THESE BAD COPS. In the past 2 and a half years there have been 5 deaths of black males in Lowndes County by the hands of police officers and nothing has been done about it. Something is wrong!!!!!! All things come to an end and the time has come for this madness to stop in Lowndes County.

 

Article Comment Jamie commented at 3/13/2009 11:42:00 AM:

As long as you play the victim, you will be a victim. Stop victimizing yourselves, you will never move forward. Fed up is not naive. Statistics are statistics. Wake up to the fact that racism goes both ways. Here are a few ways the government is racist towards white people. African Americans can go to college on minority scholarships and white people can't. If a white man and black man are applying for the same job, the black man will get it because of affirmative action. SO STOP CRYING ALREADY. The most unegually treated person in today's political correct society is the white man. The truth is sometimes hard to deal with.

 

Article Comment truth commented at 3/13/2009 12:56:00 PM:

I agree with reality i have black friends who get hassled all the time for nothing and jaime low income kids rather black or white get to go to school on financial aid just to show how dumb you are!! And affirmitive action means they have to hire if they want to at a major company one black one white one asian etc.... Jaime you make no sense and by the way we white people are the minority thats why white people lock the black man up for so many years SO STOP CRYING ALREADY. The most unequally treated person in today's political correct society is the BLACK man. The truth is sometimes hard to deal with jACKASS!!!

 

Article Comment Jamie commented at 3/13/2009 1:15:00 PM:

Truth, truth, truth...that name is so ironic, since you obviously don't know the truth about much. Financial aid is not the same as scholarships. I thought that was common knowledge. Black kids can go to college on these minority scholarships reguardless of their socio-economic status. I am on the admissions board at a university, so I know this. As far as affirmative action goes, a company will hire the black man over the white man for fear that the black man will sue for discrmination. It happens all the time. Now as far as you calling me names...Usually people with nothing valuable to add to the conversation, resort to name-calling. And I would say, based on your response, that describes you fairly accurately.

 

Article Comment Jamie commented at 3/13/2009 1:26:00 PM:

And truth...

You shouldn't call others dumb:
White people out number African Americans in colleges more than 2:1. Now, who is the minority?

I thought so.

I made my point and thats all I need to say about it. I will no longer stoop to the levels of some people who are strictly emotional and dont have the knowledge or proof to back their opinions. All of these statistics are out there for you on the web. Please feel free to prove yourselves right. You won't be able to. I'm done.

 

Article Comment Jamie commented at 3/13/2009 1:32:00 PM:

And truth...

You shouldn't call others dumb:
White people out number African Americans in colleges more than 2:1. Now, who is the minority?

I thought so.

I made my point and thats all I need to say about it. I will no longer stoop to the levels of some people who are strictly emotional and dont have the knowledge or proof to back their opinions. All of these statistics are out there for you on the web. Please feel free to prove yourselves right. You won't be able to. I'm done.

 

Article Comment John commented at 11/24/2009 10:56:00 PM:

unfortunately the plantiff in this case passed away recently

 

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