Man dropped on face while in custody files federal lawsuit against Hall County
Body camera video appears to show him complying with officers’ demands
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A man who claims he was knocked unconscious after being dropped on his head by officers is now suing a metro Atlanta law enforcement agency.
Attorneys representing Dewon Greer held a press conference on the steps of the federal courthouse in downtown Atlanta on Tuesday to detail a lawsuit they filed against Hall County. The 29-page lawsuit, which also names the sheriff and nine officers, alleges staff at the jail used excessive force and others failed to intervene after Greer was “severely” injured while in custody.
“The question about whether it was intentional is obvious,” said Sheridan Todd Yeary, an attorney for Greer. “Mr. Greer still has, behind the sunglasses, the physical scars of what happened to him that night.”
“The 11 defendants named in this lawsuit, we believe, all played a part in violating Mr. Greer’s constitutional rights,” said Attorney B’Ivory LaMarr.
Body camera video provided to Atlanta News First from September 18, 2021 appears to show Greer complying with officers’ demands to get on his knees. As the 41-year-old is cuffed with his hands behind his back, an officer is seen pulling Greer’s right leg, resulting in him slamming face-first into the concrete floor.
“I thought you had his shoulder,” one officer is heard on video saying to another.
“Knocked his (expletive) out, good,” an officer in the background replied.
“My first time watching it was yesterday in full,” said Greer during the press conference. “It was the first time I brought myself to watch it and it’s still sickening when you see how I was treated.”
Greer was arrested for not paying child support despite showing officers proof of payment. He admitted to voicing his frustrations but said he was compliant the whole time.
Greer’s attorneys also allege he was hog-tied in a WRAP restraint “under the false pretext he was a threat to himself.”
“I was just scared,” he said. “I wanted to make it back to my family. That’s the only thing I could think about, making it back to my family.”
Greer and his attorneys say he suffered a concussion, had to undergo dental surgery, and has since been diagnosed with PTSD.
“To this day, thinking about being pulled over, seeing police cars, seeing other people pulled over, I get nervous, anxious, sweaty and it just brings back the thought of the whole ordeal. Every time and it’s tough,” Greer said.
“The client is deserving of compensation but it’s also important to serve as a deterrent,” LaMarr said. “So, we don’t have officers standing around failing to intervene as they did in this case.”
A representative for the Hall County Sheriff’s Office said the agency could not comment on pending litigation.
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