Man claims Galveston police beat him when he was found sleeping in his car
GALVESTON, TX (KTRK) -- A La Marque man claims police brutality, and he's filed a civil lawsuit. There is video of Reginald Davis' arrest along the Galveston seawall, but Galveston police say it's what you do not see that may justify the actions of five police officers.
The man says it was right on the beach where a group of officers repeatedly kicked him and punched him during an arrest. The police chief says the officers believed the man was trying to get rid of some evidence -- possibly drugs -- and he's standing by his officers.
Video captured of the arrest shows officers delivering kicks to the head of a man detained along the surf of Galveston Beach. Moments later, those kicks were followed by repeated punches. The blows and stomps continued as more officers arrived on scene.
Reginald Davis recalled, "I really thought I was going to die out there."
Davis says he's the man a group of Galveston police were attacking during that arrest that was caught on a patrol car's camera back in March this year. That arrest, the 34-year-old admits, came after he ran from an officer who was searching him and his car.
"I made a mistake, I ran," Davis admitted. "I shouldn't have did that. You know, but what happened after I ran, it wasn't called for."
Davis and his attorney Chad Pinkerton are now filing a lawsuit against the city of Galveston and officers involved in that videotaped beating arrest. Police say they initially approached Davis when he was caught sleeping in his car along the seawall, violating Galveston's camping ordinance.
Galveston Police Chief Henry Porretto said, "Our officers were faced with a violent offender, who ran, assaulted an officer and continually resisted arrest."
Police say they believe Davis ran toward the beach to get rid of some type of evidence. Davis claims he ran because he was afraid he'd go to jail due to outstanding traffic issues.
"The offender put our officers' lives in jeopardy, and their response was appropriate," Chief Porretto insisted.
Galveston police say its use of force experts reviewed the tape and the officers involved have not been disciplined.
Davis said, "I don't want them to get away with it."
Davis and his lawyer say now it's up to the courts to decide.
The Galveston police chief says the officers involved are still working the streets. They add that they already completed their own internal investigation before a formal complaint was lodged in the case. The officers faced no discipline as a result of that investigation.
Davis was charged with evading arrest and served about 100 days behind bars.
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