Sussex County Man Files Suit Claiming 'Unnecessary Force' - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex Co. Man Files Suit Claiming 'Unnecessary Force' by Seaford Police

Posted:

DAGSBORO, Del.- It was Reginald Johnson's 43rd birthday, when he claims he was brutally assaulted by Seaford police officers after getting pulled over. It was all caught on camera. Johnson has filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Seaford and two of the responding officers, Cpl. Marc Russell and Officer Mills.

The incident happened on the evening of Sept. 18, 2011. According to Johnson, he was on his way home to Dagsboro after celebrating his birthday. But along the way, he was pulled over. And as police video shows, Johnson was tased and handcuffed by police. Lawyers for Johnson argue those officers used "unnecessary force."

In video released from a police dash cam, an officer can be heard yelling "Step out!"

"Ok, I'm getting out, I'm getting out," Johnson is heard yelling back.

Within seconds, the video shows Johnson getting jolted by a taser and falling to the ground, crying out in pain.

Now lawyers for Johnson are crying foul.

"There's ongoing litigation right now, so I can't really go into the facts of the case," noted Stephen Norman with the Norman Law Firm. "But what I can tell you is the video itself is very descriptive about exactly what occurred to Mr. Johnson on his 43rd birthday."

According to police reports, a police tracking device went off as Johnson's car drove past, indicating the cellphone of "a wanted felon" Delaware State Police officers were searching for was inside.

In the police video, Johnson can be heard repeatedly asking "What have I done?"

Later, when officers ask for his name, Johnson is heard responding, "My name is Reginald Johnson, man."

But police questioned him.

"Reginald Johnson?"

"Yeah," he replied.

"You sure about that?"

In a statement to WBOC from representatives for the officers and the City of Seaford, lawyer Dan Griffith said, "We believe that, once all of the facts and surrounding circumstances are considered, the case is entirely defensible. We look forward to trying the case in the court where it was filed, rather than in the media".

Police reports indicate officers were "concerned for their safety," and warned Johnson he would be "Tased."

At one point in the video, the lawsuit claims an officer on scene can be heard talking about "planting drugs" in the car.

"Somebody drop the dope in here," remarked one of the officers, later identified as Cpl. Aaron Mitchell, after a handcuffed Johnson was put inside a police cruiser.

Johnson was later taken to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital where he was treated for numerous injuries.

According to court documents, officers later admitted to Johnson that he was not the individual being sought by police. However, he was still charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

Those criminal charges were dropped in March of this year.

This latest action represents a civil lawsuit. Johnson is seeking compensation for both physical and psychological injuries he claims resulted from his interaction with police on that September 2011 night.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • String of Motorcycle Thefts on Delmarva Alarm Bike Enthusiasts

    String of Motorcycle Thefts on Delmarva Alarm Bike Enthusiasts

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:50 PM EDT2014-04-24 21:50:35 GMT
    Steve Ward's flyer of his stolen motorcycle. Steve Ward's flyer of his stolen motorcycle.
    This week there may be extra motorcyclists on some Delmarva roads. Many of them are riding through towns trying to get to Ocean City's spring rally happening all through out the week. But now some of those riders tell WBOC they are concerned because there have been a series of motorcycle thefts in the area recently.
    More
    This week there may be extra motorcyclists on some Delmarva roads. Many of them are riding through towns trying to get to Ocean City's spring rally happening all through out the week. But now some of those riders tell WBOC they are concerned because there have been a series of motorcycle thefts in the area recently.
    More
  • Pro Games, New Softball Tournament Coming to Wicomico County

    Pro Games, New Softball Tournament Coming to Wicomico County

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:43 PM EDT2014-04-24 21:43:29 GMT
    Two professional women's fastpitch softball games will be played this spring in Wicomico County coupled with a new youth tournament the same weekend.  The USSSA Pride and PA Rebellion will play two games, on May 30th and 31st at Perdue Stadium and that weekend, roughly two dozens youth teams will be town for another tournament.More
    Two professional women's fastpitch softball games will be played this spring in Wicomico County coupled with a new youth tournament the same weekend.  The USSSA Pride and PA Rebellion will play two games, on May 30th and 31st at Perdue Stadium and that weekend, roughly two dozens youth teams will be town for another tournament.More
  • Del. AG Calls for New Crime Lab

    Del. AG Calls for New Crime Lab

    Thursday, April 24 2014 3:35 PM EDT2014-04-24 19:35:33 GMT
    The recent problems revealed with drug evidence in the State Medical Examiner’s Office show that Delaware needs to build its own, state-of-the-art crime laboratory, Attorney General Beau Biden said Thursday.More
    The recent problems revealed with drug evidence in the State Medical Examiner’s Office show that Delaware needs to build its own, state-of-the-art crime laboratory, Attorney General Beau Biden said Thursday.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Delmar Man Gets 75 Years for Murder

    Delmar Man Gets 75 Years for Murder

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:07 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:07:17 GMT
    A Delmar man convicted of second-degree murder in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred last year was sentenced to 75 years in prison Thursday, according to the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office.More
    A Delmar man convicted of second-degree murder in connection with a fatal shooting that occurred last year was sentenced to 75 years in prison Thursday, according to the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office. More
  • Fire at Berlin Main Street Restaurant

    Fire at Berlin Main Street Restaurant

    Thursday, April 24 2014 1:05 PM EDT2014-04-24 17:05:28 GMT
    BERLIN, Md. – The manager of Siculi Rustic Italian Restaurant said a small fire started in the kitchen of the restaurant, which is located on Main Street.More
    The manager of Siculi Rustic Italian Restaurant on Main Street in Berlin says a small fire started in the kitchen late Thursday morning.More
  • Fire At Mid-Atlantic Family Practice in Lewes; Closes Rt. 24

    Fire At Mid-Atlantic Family Practice in Lewes; Closes Rt. 24

    Thursday, April 24 2014 5:50 PM EDT2014-04-24 21:50:50 GMT
    REHOBOTH BEACH, DE - Fire broke out at the Mid-Atlantic Family Practice office on Route 24 in Lewes this afternoon. Heavy black smoke was seen billowing from the building. WBOC viewers say a second building, a nearby barn, also caught fire. WBOC will have more on this fire as details become available in Sussex County.More
    REHOBOTH BEACH, DE - Fire broke out at the Mid-Atlantic Family Practice office on Route 24 in Lewes this afternoon. Heavy black smoke was seen billowing from the building. WBOC viewers say a second building, a nearby barn, also caught fire. WBOC will have more on this fire as details become available in Sussex County.More
Powered by WorldNow

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service