In a recent case at Worcester District Court, I represented a Hispanic man who was charged with 2 counts of Assault and Battery on a Police Officer, a civil rights violation, resisting arrest as well as Disorderly Conduct and Disturbing the Peace. He was in his parked car outside of his children’s residence in a Worcester neighborhood. A police officer was dispatched there as a result of a report of a Hispanic man operating a vehicle that was blasting music, operating erratically and it hit a pole or another car. The officer who was black approached my client’s vehicle because it seemed to match the description of the reported vehicle. My client’s vehicle had no damage or signs of damage. The officer asked my client what he was doing and received no response. He requested if my client had his license. My client said yes. My client provided the license. The officer requested my client’s registration. My client didn’t respond. The officer requested my client step from the vehicle because he feared my client could have a weapon and he wanted to check.
The officer had a heightened sense of danger because my client didn’t respond to his requests and he was in a “high crime neighborhood.” The officer grabbed my client’s hands and pulled him out of the vehicle. He claimed my client tensed up and wouldn’t turn around when he was requested to do so. No weapon was found. The officer further claimed that my client pushed him so the officer had to struggle with him and the officer forced my client to the ground. At this point, another officer assisted in getting my client handcuffed. The officer claimed my client had pushed him and he was attempting to arrest him for that offense. My client’s family witnessed the incident and they claimed the black officer used excessive force on my client by slamming him into the hood of the car and thereafter knelt on his head. My client called the black officer the n-word numerous times as a result of this. My client had very dark skin as well. My client’s family didn’t see my client push the officer. My client’s family indicated my client’s primary language was Spanish and he understood very little English. The officers admitted they only spoke to my client in English and they did not speak Spanish. The officers also admitted they never determined whether my client was able to comprehend their requests or instructions. Both officers claimed my client kicked them while he was put into the wagon to transport him to the police station for booking. My client’s family indicated they saw the police physically toss my client into the wagon face first and he did not kick the officers. My client was found not guilty of all charges except resisting arrest. The Judge gave him a 10 day sentence of which he served 7 days. My client and is family were thrilled and satisfied with the outcome.