by Jack Burns, The Free Thought Project:
A man is seeking $26 million after the force used by police resulted in life-threatening injuries and third-degree burns when he was forced onto the scorching 170-degree pavement.
Sacramento, CA — A California man is suing the city of Citrus Heights and several of its police officers for the horrific injuries he sustained when police forced him onto the ground of a restaurant parking lot when the temperature was more than 100 degrees outside.
The pavement was estimated to have been around 170 degrees, causing James Bradford Nelson III’s flesh to melt and resulting in third-degree burns on his face, torso, legs, and buttocks.
Nelson suffers from schizophrenia and has been in and out of jail since he was a juvenile. While defense attorneys will likely bring up his criminal past as being responsible for the police officers’ use of force, Nelson’s family says his incarcerations have followed a pattern of mental instability, leading to criminal behavior, and then jail time. But, arguably, no human should receive life-threatening burns after a run-in with police.
Police officers were called to the KFC when Nelson was behaving erratically. The shirtless man then fled the restaurant but was taken to the ground, with his bare skin being exposed to the scorching roadway.
Nelson’s mother and stepfather, Tarsha and Barry Benigno, told the Sacremento Bee that they believe the officers were “poorly trained,” and that the injuries Nelson sustained have taken an emotional toll on both him and his family.
Citrus Heights police chief Ronald Lawrence said the case will be tried in court, adding that it is, “something that will involve the judicial system, and will not be resolved in the court of public opinion.”But it will be the opinion of the jury and not the chief which will matter when restitution must be decided.
The lawsuit contends, “During this time on the ground Nelson was screaming and yelling in excruciating pain,” and adds, “the officers forced his head down onto the hot pavement, leaning onto it with such force that Nelson could not move it for relief, exposing the right side of his face and neck to the scorching heat of the concrete.”
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