Saturday, December 8, 2012

Police excessive force: Trial to continue for case involving OPD officer accused of using excessive force on elderly man - Orlando Sentinel

Police excessive force: Trial to continue for case involving OPD officer accused of using excessive force on elderly man - Orlando Sentinel:

'via Blog this'The 86-year-old widower told an Orlando federal jury on Monday that he has nothing but fond thoughts for law-enforcement officers.
And on Sept. 18, 2010, when he touched Orlando Police Officer Travis Lamont on the arm to ask for help during a towing dispute, he didn't reach out to punch or threaten the law-enforcer.
But that interaction led to a controversial takedown maneuver that broke Daley's neck.
Daley filed suit against the city of Orlando and Lamont in Orlando federal court, and a seven-member jury heard opening statements and the veteran's testimony Monday in a trial that is expected to last all week.
The panel will have to decide if Lamont used excessive force and violated Daley's rights.
Daley claims the city of Orlando and Lamont violated his civil rights during the altercation outside the Ivanhoe Grocery Store north of downtown Orlando two years ago.
Daley's legal team told jurors they'll show, through testimony and evidence, that Daley didn't threaten Lamont.
The legal team is slated to call two experts, including a retired police chief, who will explain why Lamont's use of force that night was excessive and that the city has a lack of training and oversight.
Ultimately, Daley's legal team will want to establish to the jury that the city has an ongoing pattern of accepting officers' use of force, regardless of the situation.
"This is a case of excessive force," attorney Jason Recksiedler told jurors.
Daley told jurors he volunteered to serve in Vietnam because he felt it was his duty to serve his country.
His task was to attract fire by flying low in small aircraft, which would help his colleagues know where their enemies on the ground were located.
"That's when I thought there must be a better way to earn a living," said Daley, who admitted his hearing was poor on Monday because he couldn't find one of his hearing aids.
Daley ended up working with the Department of Defense in Orlando and worked espionage and treason cases with federal and local agencies.
On Sept. 18, 2010, Daley had been drinking at The Caboose bar on North Orange Avenue, but denied being under the influence during his cross-examination Monday.
When a friend in the bar told him his car was being towed, he went outside to check it out and talked to the truck driver, who said Daley's car was illegally parked.
Lamont was already on scene at that point, and Daley doesn't deny touching the officer on the arm.
During cross-examination, Daley said he did it as a friendly gesture to ask Lamont if he could help because he didn't believe he was parked illegally.
Daley admitted it was a mistake to reach out at the officer, and said he doesn't recall what transpired after — such as being arrested.
"After being bounced on my head, I don't remember a darn thing," Daley said.

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