Houston officer who ‘head-smashed’ handcuffed man faces federal civil rights lawsuit (VIDEO)
The lawsuit, filed by Reuben Williams, stems from an incident in late 2014, according to KTRK, during which he claims his 4th and 14th amendment rights were violated.
Williams, an African-American, was arrested on a charge for driving under the influence. He was handcuffed in a jail cell by Houston police officers. When officers attempted to take his blood, Williams resisted, as seen in video Williams' family obtained and gave to KTRK earlier this year.
While strapped to a gurney, Williams says, "I'm not going to do this man," later steaming, "I feel like a f**king criminal."
Williams was then escorted by officers to a holding cell. Just before entering the cell, an officer is seen in the video slamming Williams' head into a door frame. Williams then dropped to the floor, blood running from his forehead.
The Houston police officer said Williams tried to spit on him, and that he was pushing Williams away. Williams told KTRK he did not try to spit on the officer.
"I didn't have nothing to do with spitting," Williams said. "I was in handcuffs. I had no way of reacting to a man behind me."
In statement to the Houston Police Department's internal affairs division, the officer in question said Williams "purposefully propelled himself forward."
"They're basically saying I ran myself into the door," Williams said.
Two other men in the holding cell who saw the incident said Williams did not spit. One man told KTRK it "looked like the lawman knocked him over his head."
Houston police also claimed Williams had tried to spit and urinate in the back of a police car.
In June 2015, the officer was cleared by a Harris County Grand Jury and was given counseling by the Houston Police Department.
"Although the video is disturbing, the ultimate question for the grand jury was whether, after looking at all the evidence, the officer's conduct rose to the level of a crime," according to a statement from the Harris County District Attorney's Office reported by KTRK.
"A diverse grand jury apparently concluded it did not," the DA's office added. "It should be noted that we reserve the right to represent a case to a grand jury if new evidence comes to light that would change the outcome of the proceeding."
Williams' attempts to reach Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner have been unsuccessful, he said. The Houston Police Department took six months to give Williams' attorney video footage of the incident, but the department asked a judge to declare "the [video] is not intended for public dissemination."
"Cops can do whatever they want because this video was never supposed to surface," Williams told KTRK earlier this year, adding, "I am trying to get my story heard."
Neither the Houston Police Department nor the city of Houston has commented on the lawsuit, KTRK reported.