York resident Jason Watts sued the City of York and York City Police Officer Galen Detweiler in federal court on December 20th, 2019. The charges listed in the lawsuit include wrongful search and seizure, wrongful arrest, and police brutality.
Watts Was Wrongfully Detained
Jason Watts was riding his bike a few blocks from his place of residence when he noticed a police cruiser sounding its siren behind him. He immediately stopped wondering why. Officer Detweiler walked up to him and did not offer a reason even when asked.
Watts was allegedly yanked from his motorcycle after a few minutes and said that he was going to lose his motorbike. Court documents state that Detweiler was allegedly aggressive and all Watts asked was if he could get the registration and insurance from the locked seat of the bike.
Watts was later cited for reckless driving but was released from police custody. Watts alleges that Detweiler damaged his labrum when he yanked on his right arm while removing the cuffs off him. This has required multiple surgeries to fix.
Detweiler has a Prior Police Brutality Lawsuit
Detweiler was accused of using excessive force and getting physical with a civilian in 2017 when he punched a woman and tussled with her on the cement. The incident was caught on a 10 second video that went viral.
Watts is suing the City of York for negligent hiring and the city’s failure to retrain or reprimand him. Detweiler is on active duty until the case is investigated. The court documents read that Officer Detweiler has a long history of using excessive and unreasonable force to a point that results in injuries.
The City is familiar with the officer’s propensity to inflict serious injuries on others and misuse his powers. Yet, they failed to take any measures to ensure that constitutional rights of citizens are not violated.
Importance of Videos in Police Brutality Lawsuits
Videos have been changing the way Americans feel about law enforcement agencies for over 25 decades. In 1991, a video showing the brutal beating of Rodney King, an unarmed black man, was integral to bringing reformations in the way police handled minority neighborhoods.
Most police brutality lawyers believe that a clearly shot video could be the most critical component of a lawsuit. The proliferation of video through body camera, smartphones, and dashboard cameras plays a major role in holding law enforcement officers accountable.
However, it needs an experienced police brutality attorney to show the video in the right light so that its contents are not misconstrued or twisted by the various legal loopholes.