Texas Jury Awards Man $1.3 Million after Home Video Proved Deputies Lied
A federal jury awarded a Texas man more than $1.3 million in a civil lawsuit against deputies who claimed he assaulted them in January 2015.
Had it not been for his home surveillance camera, Faulkenberry might still be in prison.
Not only did Faulkenberry not assault deputies, the video shows Caldwell County Sergeant Dustin M. Yost using a judo-type leg sweep on Faulkenberry, causing him to fall down, even though he appeared to be fully cooperating.
Then all three deputies can be seen piling on top of him with one deputy punching him in the eye and another pushing him down with his knee.
The video also revealed at no point in the video did Faulkenberry assault deputy Michael Taylor and deputy Houseton, which they claimed as justification for their use of force.
Faulkenberry was arrested for felony assault on a public servant, resisting arrest and aggravated assault with a firearm.
Faulkenberry’s lawsuit claimed deputies handcuffed his right hand “so hard he still bears the scars.”
“Our client feels vindicated,” said Faulkenberry’s attorney Karl Seelbach, of Doyle & Seelbach PLLC.
“If there’s one thing about Larry Faulkenberry, is his story is consistent from day one.”
The video, posted below, shows Fauklenberry standing outside his home when three deputies walk up with guns drawn, responding to a false report from his mentally ill son after a spat over homework, who had accused his father of being drunk and carrying a gun.
Not only does Faulkenberry not own a gun, he was not drunk.
The video, which contains no audio, shows Faulkenberry raise his arms as the deputies are attempting to arrest him.
“The video plainly shows that at no point during the entire incident did the plaintiff offer any resistance or assault any of the deputies. The deputies in turn had no legal basis or justification whatsoever for assaulting the plaintiff who was defenseless,” Faulkenberry’s lawyers said.
According to his lawsuit, deputies cursed at him when he questioned whether or not they had a warrant, which may have also angered them to the point of attacking him, then filing false charges.
After his arrest, Faulkenberry’s bond totaled $807,500. But after spending ten days in jail, Faulkenberry’s lawyer showed a magistrate the video and the magistrate lowered his bond to $5,000. The Lockhart County District Attorney’s Office later refused to prosecute him and he finally went home after posting his bail.
Faulkenberry’s lawyer, Trek Doyle, commented about the arrest.
To me, the video is offensive. Law enforcement is supposed to serve and protect. In Caldwell County, they appear to have a different motto; “obey or suffer.” Citizens, especially those who have done nothing wrong, are entitled to ask questions of law enforcement so long as they do not illegally resist. They are not supposed to be thrown to the ground, pinned, and beaten. But what really got me fired up about this case was the decision to charge Larry with resisting arrest and assaulting Yost, a second degree felony. The video plainly shows that Larry did not resist much less assault Yost. These guys didn’t just rough Larry up and toss him in the can for the night. They were willing to throw his life away for no good or legal reason; just because they were pissed. If Larry had not happened to have video of the entire incident, he would likely be serving hard time in the Texas Department of Corrections as we speak.
Police were unaware of the video until after the lawsuit was filed, according to a source close to Faulkenberry.