Archive for Excessive force

Woman from Hamilton County files $1.75 million lawsuit for excessive force

A woman from Hamilton County filed a lawsuit for $1.75 million. In this lawsuit, Nancy Mason, a 61-year-old woman, claims that six law enforcement officer used excessive force against her while she was in custody.

According to Nancy Mason, she cooperated with the law enforcement officers when they booked her on March 21, 2015 into the Hamilton County Jail. According to her, they patted her down, found no weapons, and began to take away her possessions. Nancy Mason refused to allow them to take her earrings and she told Sgt. Rodney Terrel that she would report the incident.


According to the lawsuit, Sgt. Rodney Terrell unholstered his taser and shot her without warning. Mason claims she fell to the floor and fractured one of her wrists in the process. As she was on the floor, Terrell still had the taser trained on the frail woman, according to the lawsuit. He then asked Terrell once more to give the earrings to them for safekeeping.

In the lawsuit, Nancy Mason claims that she was tazed after less than 25 seconds of talking to Sgt. Rodney Terrel. According to the lawsuit, the county has yet to take any action against Sgt. Rodney Terrell or the deputies for condoning the use of excessive force. Matt Lea from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office says the five deputies are on duty still. However, they have been assigned to the department’s Corrections Divisions.

According to Kyle Miller, who represents the Chattanooga Police Department, Nancy Mason made no complaints against Greg Tate, who is the police officer who initially arrested her. Mason was arrested for charges of theft of property of a value over $500. According to court records, Mason pleaded guilty and was put on house arrest for six months.

Robin Flores, Mason’s lawyer, declined to make a comment. The lawyer claimed that the lawsuit more than speaks for itself. The lawsuit claims that the city and county inadequately trained its law enforcement officers. The lawsuit mentions a few examples of abuse at the hands of law enforcement, such as the Adam Tatum case. The suit calls for a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages of at least $1.75 million.

Lynwood Man’s Family get $8.8 million after he is killed by deputies

In 2009, Alfredo Montalvo was spotted leaving a convenience store without his headlights on. The Sheriffs’ department claim that saw him go over several lanes of traffic at a high rate of speed. Deputies then began a chase that ended when Montalvo crashed into a parked car.

Deputies exited their video and ordered Montalvo out of his car. According to the deputies account, he refused and then allegedly reached under his car seat for something and reversed his car, striking several deputies and an unmarked police car.

61-shots-firedThe deputies then claim he pulled forward and began to reverse again. Nine of the deputies opened fire, shooting 61 shots.  He was killed instantly.

At the time of the incident, the departments investigation determined that the use of deadly force was justified, because they believe that Montalvo’s vehicle was posing a direct threat to the deputies. However, in 2012, a jury disagreed with the findings and decided that this was an excessive use of force. They awarded the family of Montalvo 8.756 million dollars.

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors decided on Tuesday November 10, 2015 to make the payment to his family. This means that the city will no longer try to fight the verdict, signaling an end of the case as far as Los Angeles is concerned.

Excessive use of force settlements have become national news after the shooting of Michael Brown and the suffocation of Eric Garner by police officers. Several other cities around the country have been paying millions of dollars in settlement money to the families of the deceased, including 1.6 million in Dallas, 5.5 million in Cleveland and 8.8 million earlier this year in LA.

The majority of this claim will be paid for by insurance, while the remaining 1.1 million will be paid for by the city itself. The city paid the money without comment.

Montalvo was a fork lift operator and also worked in security. He left behind 2 children, a daughter who was 7 years old and a son that was 4.