Just when you think you’ve heard it all…
DeShawn Franklin was an 18-year-old high school senior the night police barged into his room as he slept, punched him in the face several times, tasered him, dragged him and handcuffed him, then threw him into the back of a police cruiser as he screamed for his mother.
Franklin was absolutely innocent, but he fit the description of a suspect sought by police: a slender, African American man with dreads.
DeShawn’s family filed a civil rights lawsuit against the police officers and city officials for the 2012 incident and a jury found that the officers violated Franklin’s constitutional rights by arresting him and entering his family’s home without a warrant.
The jury ordered that each defendant pay DeShawn and his parents $1 for violating their rights.
The Franklins received a total of $18.
Via the Washington Post:
The incident happened about 2:30 a.m. on July 7, 2012, when Franklin and his parents were sleeping. Officers Eric Mentz, Aaron Knepper and Michael Stuk, of the South Bend Police Department, were looking for Dan Jones, Franklin’s older brother, after receiving a domestic violence call. The officers received information that Jones may have gone to his parents’ house, according to an internal affairs investigation report by the police department.
Franklin’s mother, Vivian Franklin, answered the door after hearing loud knocks. The officers went inside without a warrant and without asking for permission to go in, according to the report. The officers told her to stay outside on the front porch.
Accounts of how the officers arrived vary. The complaint the family filed in 2013 against the officers alleged that they came to the home with their weapons drawn. City officials, however, say their weapons were not drawn.
When they got to DeShawn Franklin’s bedroom, they saw him lying on his stomach and woke him up. Startled and afraid, he resisted, so the police officers punched and used a stun gun on him.
His father, Dan Franklin, who is disabled, told the internal affairs investigator that he heard a “pop” and thought the officers had shot his son as he screamed for his mother.
The officers soon realized that they got the wrong person. Still, DeShawn Franklin was handcuffed and placed in a squad car for resisting. He was released shortly after, according to the report, and the officers apologized to the family.
And you wonder why Colin Kaepernick won’t stand for the National Anthem….