Bodycam footage has just been released of a police interaction that took place on January 23 involving a Kansas cop repetitively punching a black man till his jaw breaks while pepper spraying him to the point his face is covered in blood.
According to police records, the Topeka police officer stopped Timothy C. Harris for sitting in his car while his car was illegally parallel parked more than 12 inches from the curb, which apparently is a serious crime in Kansas.
Topeka police officer Christopher Janes approached Harris and started asking questions. Even though Harris was fully cooperating, Janes became extremely hostile quickly.
Janes detained Harris without explanation and forcefully took him to the ground where he began punching him and spraying him with pepper spray, according to the federal lawsuit that was filed this past Wednesday.
When backup officer arrived, Harris was already covered in blood with a broken jaw, according to CJOnline.
The lawsuit was filed by civil rights attorney Andrew M. Stroth, who is also suing the city in another case where police shot Dominique White.
According to CJOnline:
> “The video speaks for itself,” Stroth said. “Timothy Harris was unjustifiably and unconstitutionally beaten by Topeka police officer Christopher Janes. The City of Topeka is responsible for the pattern, practice and custom of excessive force used by the TPD.”
There are multiple claims in the lawsuit, including that Harris' Fourth and 14th Amendments were violated as he was not allowed to have due process and he was not able to exercise his right against unreasonable seizure.
The lawsuit also states that the department provides inadequate training of detention of suspects and how to keep from using improper use of force.
Harris was originally charged with battery against a law enforcement officer, disobeying a lawful police officer, interference with a law enforcement officer, and parallel parking more than 12 inches from the curb. The first two charges were dismissed but he was found guilty of interference and the illegal parking.
Janes has been with the department for over 2 years.
Officer Janes is on duty, according to Topeka Police Chief Bill Cochran.