Body cam footage obtained by PINAC shows two Texas cops enter a man’s home, apparently without a warrant, then tackle and taser the man while pinning him onto a couch.
All because the 48-year-old man stood up from his recliner and remained standing after one of the cops ordered him to sit back down.
“Have a seat for me,” said Buda police officer Demerriell Young, who has a history of abuse.
Leonard Garcia paused, not taking another step, but reminded Young it was his house and that he had yet to see a warrant, stating he preferred to remain standing until the officer could produce one.
But Young pounced on him and the second cop, Kellie Metz, then tasered him as you can see in the video below that contains footage from both body cams.
That incident, which took place January 21, 2016, led to a lawsuit filed against both cops and the Buda Police Department last month.
It is the second lawsuit filed against Young for excessive force within the past six months. Both acts of police brutality were caught on Young’s own body camera.
The first lawsuit for excessive force lawsuit was filed by Juan Martinez – a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran who uses a motorized scooter to get around – after Young tackled him, breaking his ribs for simply wanting to check up on his wife, who had been falsely accused of shoplifting.
As we wrote about here, that incident took place on October 3, 2014 and Martinez’s wife, who also uses a motorized scooter to get around, rode outside the store with items in her cart to look for her husband, whom she had lost.
That lawsuit was filed in federal court by the Carlson Law Firm in October 2016 with an amended complaint filed a month later, which states that the Buda Police Department hired Young despite knowing he had a history of abusive behavior at other police departments.
The second lawsuit stems from the January 16, 2016 incident when Young, Metz and Child Protective Services social workers arrived at Garcia’s home, claiming to have “paper work” to remove Garcia’s wife’s biological grandchildren from the home.
The Garcias had had been caring for the two girls for several weeks while their mother dealt with CPS.
The beginning of the video shows Young approaching the door of the home stating to people standing outside that CPS was there for a “visit.”
After Young gained permission to enter the home, he revealed he and social workers had actually arrived to enforce an “emergency order,” but never states whether or not the order was an actual warrant.
“Alright . . . uh. So, CPS is here to removed two kids. Alright? Um, I guess, the little one and the other one.”
“They have paper work from a judge to do a (sic) emergency removal.”
A family friend objects, saying she was approved by the judge to be considered to care for the children.
“I’m not here to debate it. They had a (sic) paper work. Um, so, they’re gonna remove the kids.”
The family friend explains to Young she didn’t live there and was in the process of applying to gain custody of the girls.
“Not tonight. That’s gonna have to–once they determine they can do that (sic) follow up later. As of tonight, uh, they do have a…”
Young pauses the dialogue, which remained calm until this point, directing his attention towards Garcia, who slowly stood up from the recliner he sat on when the parties moved the initial conversation inside and began walking away from the conversation heading in a direction further away from officer Young.
“Have a seat for me.”
Garcia paused, not taking another step, but reminded Young it was his house and eventually that he hadn’t seen a warrant, stating he preferred to stand until the police produced an actual warrant he could actually see.
In all likelihood, he never did see one.
“This is my house,” he replied, before seeming to comply, turning back and taking steps towards the couch to sit down.
Body cam footage from officer Metz’ camera shows officer Young moving closer towards Garcia, telling him to sit down, repeating several times to “have a seat.”
Then, before giving him a chance to comply, Young suddenly tackles Garcia from behind onto the couch, pancaking him next to the youngest girl, who became visibly frightened from the ruckus that had landed right next to her.
“This is my house,” Garcia replied. “Get out of my house unless you’ve got a warrant.”
“You’re going to get tased!” Metz shouts at Garcia.
“Taser! Taser! Taser! Taser!” Metz screams just before tasering Garcia.
“Get out of my house unless you have a warrant,” repeated Garcia.
“This is my house.”
“Stop resisting before you get Tasered again!” she shouted before tasering Garcia once more.
Young placed Garcia under arrest and charged him with interfering with public duties.
Attorney Rob Ranco of the Carlson Law Firm in Austin told PINAC he agreed to represent Garcia after Juan Martinez learned of the incident and connected them though a referral.
“If these actions are allowed to keep going unchecked without the department taking the initiative to try to improve them, we can expect that this will continue to happen,” he said.
The video below includes footage from Young’s camera merged with footage from Metz’ body cam, as both excessive force lawsuits Ranco filed after viewing footage of the incident(s). Also below is the short clip from the Martinez incident in Walmart. The full video from that incident can be seen here.