A Delaware man that was wrongly tased and arrested in September of 2011 has finally received a settlement from police after the federal lawsuit has come to a close.
Reginald Johnson was driving on the night of his 43rd birthday when he was pulled over by the Seaford Police Department. The officers approached the vehicle to speak with Johnson, but when asked why he had been pulled over he quickly found himself being tased and pulled out of his vehicle.
While on the ground Johnson can be heard screaming, “I’ve done nothing man! What did I do? Lord have mercy, what have I done? I haven’t done anything!” Unable to make sense of the situation, Johnson is pinned to the ground, cuffed and escorted to the back of a police cruiser.
According to officers, they were searching for a man in the area when a tracking device indicated that a cellphone belonging to that man was located inside of Johnson’s car. After pulling the vehicle over, officers believed Johnson was a threat because of his failure to exit the vehicle even after being warned about the stun gun.
With the dash cam capturing the entire incident, police officers can be heard discussing their mistake and even suggesting that they plant drugs in Mr. Johnson’s car to cover up the incident.
“Dude, we got the wrong guy,” said one officer.
“Someone drop the dope in here,” another officer said, trying to cover up the mistake.
The officers never followed through with their plan to plant the drugs, but Johnson was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. However, after news spread about the wrongful arrest the charges were dropped.
Knowing he had done nothing wrong, Johnson sought out a lawyer and filed a federal suit against the Seaford Police Department.
Stephen Norman, Johnson’s attorney, was able to use the released video to ensure that there would be justice for Mr. Johnson.
“As can be seen on the video, a total of 14 seconds elapsed from the time defendants first requested that plaintiff exit the vehicle and the time plaintiff was shot with defendant Russell’s Taser,” he said in court documents.
Reginald Johnson settled for $270,000 after an investigation concluded that the officers in the video acted with unnecessary force. Norman believes that the Seaford Police Department fully recognized their wrong doing and that they demonstrated it by the amount that the suit was settled for.
The court documents never indicated whether or not police officers were able to successfully locate the cellphone of the man believed to be in Reginald Johnson’s car.