Texas resident Lawrence Faulkenberry spent ten nights in jail on charges that he assaulted a Caldwell County sheriff’s deputy before footage from his home surveillance video camera proved he was the one attacked by deputies.
Now Fauklenberry is suing the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office.
However, if it wasn’t for his video camera, he would probably be sitting in prison today for the January 2015 arrest.
The video, posted below, shows Fauklenberry standing outside his home when three deputies walk up with guns drawn, responding to a false report from his mentally ill son after a spat over homework, who had accused his father of being drunk and carrying a gun.
Not only does Faulkenberry not own a gun, he was not drunk.
The video, which contains no audio, shows Faulkenberry raise his arms as the deputies are attempting to arrest him.
It also shows Sergeant Dustin Yost use a judo-type leg sweep on Faulkenberry, causing him to fall down, even though he appeared to be fully cooperating.
Then all three deputies pile on top of him with one deputy punching him in the eye and another pushing him down with his knee.
At no point in the video did Faulkenberry assault Deputy Taylor prompting justification for use of force.
The suit claims deputies handcuffed Faulkenberry’s right hand “so hard he still bears the scars.”
Faulkenberry’s lawyers claimed, “The video plainly shows that at no point during the entire incident did the plaintiff offer any resistance or assault any of the deputies. The deputies in turn had no legal basis or justification whatsoever for assaulting the plaintiff who was defenseless.”
Faulkenberry’s lawsuit also claims Lockhart police lied in their report about the incident when he was arrested by Deputy Michael Taylor who filled out false affidavits to support the false charges. And by doing so, committed at least two counts of aggravated perjury.
Faulkenberry’s lawsuit also contends that Taylor swore under oath that he assaulted Sgt. Yost because he know that Yost was the one who actually attacked him and threw him to the ground without justification.
As is standard procedure, Caldwell County responded with a general denial of Faulkenberry’s allegations, despite the existence of video evidence that supports his claims.
The lawsuit also argues the call that prompted police to show up to his property was a false report made by Faulkenberry’s son, who was angry at his father.
According to the suit, deputies cursed at him when he questioned if they had a warrant, which may have also angered them to the point of attacking him, then filing false charges against him.
After his arrest, Faulkenberry’s bond totaled $807,500. But after spending ten days in jail, Faulkenberry’s lawyer showed a magistrate the video and the magistrate lowered his bond to $5,000. The Lockhart County District Attorney’s Office later refused to prosecute him and he finally went home after posting his bail.
Faulkenberry’s lawyer, Trek Doyle, commented about the arrest, ”
To me, the video is offensive. Law enforcement is supposed to serve and protect. In Caldwell County, they appear to have a different motto; “obey or suffer.” Citizens, especially those who have done nothing wrong, are entitled to ask questions of law enforcement so long as they do not illegally resist. They are not supposed to be thrown to the ground, pinned, and beaten. But what really got me fired up about this case was the decision to charge Larry with resisting arrest and assaulting Yost, a second degree felony. The video plainly shows that Larry did not resist much less assault Yost. These guys didn’t just rough Larry up and toss him in the can for the night. They were willing to throw his life away for no good or legal reason; just because they were pissed. If Larry had not happened to have video of the entire incident, he would likely be serving hard time in the Texas Department of Corrections as we speak.
He also stated his client may undergo serious back surgery caused during the incident.
In 2010, another civil complaint named the same Sergeant Yost from Faulkenberry’s arrest.
In that case, police alleged Eric Marino stole two trailers that were on his property. Yost charged him with theft and organized criminal activity. Marino had receipts for the trailers inside of his home, but Sgt. Yost, Sheriff Daniel Law and three other deputies wouldn’t let Marino retrieve the receipts from the house before they arrested him
A Federal Judge dismissed the claim after Yost was removed from the lawsuit.
Faulkenberry’s lawsuit is suing for an unspecified compensatory amount for civil rights violations as well as humiliation he went through after a Lockhart newspaper reported the outrageous bond amount and the serious criminal charges that were later dismissed.