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“The Hawk’s Eye – Consulting & News” reports on a civil rights lawsuit filed by Andres Garcia against the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, alleging constitutional violations during a mental health crisis, leading to physical injuries and humiliation.
Hays County Sheriff’s Office Faces Lawsuit for Civil Rights Violations
On October 6, 2023, Andres Garcia filed a lawsuit against the Hays County Sheriff’s Office and deputies Robert Blanchard, Bryan Thomas, Jean-Claude Cornic, Stefan Haltermann, and Scott Whetstone. Garcia alleges civil rights violations and is seeking damages under the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The complaint alleges that the defendants’ actions violated Garcia’s constitutional rights, and seeks justice and compensation for the damages incurred.
Andres Garcia’s Civil Rights Complaint against Hays County Sheriff’s Office Reveals Alleged Violations
According to Garcia’s complaint, on July 8, 2022, officers arrived at Garcia’s home where he was alone in his bedroom with the door closed. Prior to their arrival, the officers were informed that Garcia was experiencing a mental health episode and that he had a history of mental health conditions.
The complaint states that officers were informed that Garcia had been talking to himself in various voices and that he had made conflicting statements, both threatening and non-threatening, towards his family members. The officers were told that Garcia remained behind the closed bedroom door throughout these events.
Upon arrival, the officers reportedly intended to arrest Garcia without seeking a warrant. They proceeded to knock on Garcia’s door, requesting to speak with him. The officers did not inform Garcia that he was under arrest or being detained at any point while the door remained closed. It was only after Garcia opened the door that he was told he was under arrest, at which point he raised his hand in the air.
Within moments of informing Garcia of his arrest, the officers deployed a taser, resulting in Garcia experiencing electric shocks. Multiple officers then rushed to restrain Garcia while he was still under the effects of the taser. Additionally, the officers pulled down Garcia’s pants, exposing him to humiliation in front of his family.
Subsequently, Garcia was taken into custody and detained for 75 days. However, the Hays County District Attorney’s Office later dropped the charges of Terroristic Threat and Resisting Arrest that were initially filed against Garcia.
As a result of the incident, Garcia suffered physical injuries, including burns from the taser and physical pain. The complaint also alleges that the officers were aware of the potential dangers associated with using tasers, such as cardiac arrest, serious bodily injury, and even death.
Garcia’s civil rights complaint seeks justice and compensation for the alleged violations of his constitutional rights and the damages he incurred. The lawsuit highlights the importance of protecting civil rights and ensuring proper handling of individuals experiencing mental health episodes by law enforcement agencies.
Please note that the information provided is based on the complaint filed by Andres Garcia and further legal proceedings will be necessary to establish the validity of the claims.
Allegations of Excessive Force and Deliberate Indifference by Hays County Sheriff’s Office
Andres Garcia’s civil rights complaint against the Hays County Sheriff’s Office alleges that the actions and failures of the officers involved during the incident were unreasonable and were the direct cause of the injuries and damages he suffered. According to the complaint, the Hays County Sheriff’s Office is being held liable under 42 U.S.C. §1983 for acting with deliberate indifference by failing to provide proper supervision and training to the officers regarding the reasonable use of force.
Garcia asserts that the officers involved were not adequately trained on the constitutional boundaries related to the use of excessive force, specifically in accordance with the Fourth Amendment. This lack of training, as claimed in the complaint, may have contributed to the alleged violations of Garcia’s constitutional rights.
The complaint further states that the officers used force against Garcia while he was complying with the arrest command by raising his hands in the air. The Hays County Sheriff’s Office’s reported failure to discipline or reprimand the officers for their actions and inactions is alleged to be a form of ratification of the excessive force used. This alleged endorsement of the officers’ actions demonstrates a deliberate indifference to the civil rights of Garcia and other residents of Hays County.
Moreover, the complaint highlights that the county’s failure to reprimand the officers suggests a reluctance to enforce its own policies, potentially leading to recurring situations and continued violations of civil rights by other officers. In this particular incident, the officers used objectively unreasonable force against Garcia, including tasering him and dragging him outside with his pants down. These actions are claimed to have directly violated Garcia’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from the use of excessive force.
Garcia argues that he posed no threat to the officers or the general public, as he was unarmed, in his own home, and raised his hand in the air as instructed when told he was under arrest. The complaint further contends that Garcia was not given sufficient time to surrender to the officers after being informed of his arrest. According to Garcia, there was no justification for the use of dangerous “less lethal” force, such as tasers, against him, as the need for such force was nonexistent.
In summary, the complaint asserts that the officers employed excessive force during Garcia’s arrest, violating his Fourth Amendment rights. It claims that the force used was clearly excessive and objectively unreasonable, and resulted solely from the intentional use of force that exceeded what was necessary.
Please note that the information provided is based on the allegations made in Andres Garcia’s civil rights complaint, and the validity of these claims will need to be established through further legal proceedings.
A Couple of Our Other Reads
You may be interested in our publishing on a local attorney’s claims of excessive force by the Hays County Sheriff’s Office.
Or you may find our publishing on use of force reporting by the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, of interest.
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