Man sues Buckeye Police for takedown on Black Friday 2011Posted: Updated:
MESA, Ariz. -- It was the cell phone video seen nationwide. A grandfather visiting the Valley, bloodied on the floor of a Walmart in the custody of Buckeye Police.
Authorities believed that Jerald Newman was shoplifting, but it was the take down by officers that really raised eyebrows.
"Given the excessive force and the beating that Mr. Newman took this time last year, it was absolutely imperative that that be addressed," said Todd Nolan, who is Newman's attorney.
Newman lost blood and suffered several scrapes that Black Friday morning. As compensation for those injuries, Nolan is suing the City of Buckeye and Buckeye Police for $500,000 on Newman's behalf.
"For him the injuries were physical as well as psychological and he and his family have never recovered," said Nolan.
The emotional damage was clear when we spoke to Newman's grandson, Nick Nara, last year. He was at the store with his grandfather, in the crush of people grabbing for a video game.
"I only got one game and people were trying to take it away from me so he grabbed it, put it under his shirt so no one would take it," said Nara, in tears.
Newman's family said he was going to get both of them out of the crowd safely and pay for the game, when Buckeye Police grabbed him. That officer was never charged with excessive force, but the Newmans hope their lawsuit sends a message.
"They are really hoping that this lawsuit will deter any police officer from acting in that manor again," said Nolan.
The County Attorney did not file any shoplifting charges against Newman. We contacted Buckeye Police, but because of the litigation, the Chief had no comment.