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Reginald Davis, Texas man, files lawsuit alleging Galveston Police Dept. used excessive force during arrest

(CBS) GALVESTON, Texas - Reginald Davis, a Texas man, has filed a lawsuit against the Galveston Police Department claiming that officers used excessive force on him during an arrest in March, CBS affiliate KHOU reports.

Davis alleges in the lawsuit that he was kicked and punched by officers and that his face was held down in the water near the jetties, the station reports.

The alleged incident took place on March 19, when before driving home to La Marque, Davis said he felt tired, so he stopped along the seawall to take a nap.

Minutes later, a Galveston police officer asked Davis to step out of his car. According to the station, Davis, who had a warrant out for his arrest, took off towards the ocean on foot after he was patted down.

The station reports Davis was hit by a Taser and was brought down by an officer. Minutes later, more officers reportedly arrived to help and a dash cam caught the arrest on video.

"You saw at least 20 strikes. You saw at least three kicks to the face. You saw a man's head being held under water," Chad Pinkerton, Davis' attorney, told the station. "That's excessive force."

While Pinkerton did acknowledge the fact that this 34-year-old client did flee police, he says he did not resist arrest, especially since his right arm was in a cast.

"I really thought I was going to die. I really thought I was," Davis said of the incident. "I made a mistake. I ran, I shouldn't have done that."

Davis is no stranger to the Galveston police, KHOU reports.

"He refused to repeated commands, he's got a long lengthy history with the Galveston Police Department," Galveston Police Chief Henry Porretto said.

Davis has been convicted on drug charges in the past and has served jail time, the station reports.

In this case, police reportedly suspect Davis may have been trying to get rid of something in the ocean. Porretto said his officers responded appropriately to a dangerous situation.

"Police work is dirty sometimes and our people are out there doing a tough job. And they did this within policy. Of course it looks terrible, but it is what it is, and they were making a lawful arrest," Porretto said.

Davis said the incident has delayed his graduation from college and has also affected his ability to work as a longshoreman.

"I've made a few mistakes in my life. I will own up to that, that was one of them, just 'cause you run, it doesn't make you don't deserve that," Davis said.

Davis is suing for monetary compensation, however he says what he ultimately wants is for the officers involved to be taken off the streets, the station reports.

  • Stephanie Slifer

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