Mississippi man says he was beaten, punched and choked by officers

A Mississippi man has filed a lawsuit against a police department, a sheriff's office and the officers who he says beaten, punched and choked him after a traffic stop.

Davidtron Logan, 28, alleges that he was beaten with flashlights, pushed, choked and punched by four officers while unarmed and detained in handcuffs after a July 18, 2019, traffic stop.

After officers discovered Logan had a suspended driver's license, he was further assaulted and tased, according to the lawsuit, which was filed recently in Mississippi federal court.

The lawsuit alleges that Logan's constitutional rights prohibiting unreasonable search and seizures and cruel and unusual punishment were violated. It also argues that his 14th Amendment rights were violated, which guarantees all citizens equal protection under the law. He is seeking $5 million.

"The fact that I'm alive is a blessing from God,” Logan told NBC News.

Water Valley, a city of about 3,400 about 20 miles south of Oxford, employs 14 full- and part-time police officers, according to the county clerk's office. Five of them are named in the police report detailing the night Logan was pulled over.

The Yalobusha County Sheriff's Office and the Water Valley Police Department did not respond to multiple requests for comment by phone and email.

But in August, Yalobusha County Sheriff W.F. “Lance” Humphreys told the Oxford Eagle that Logan's account was not truthful and that Logan “took off running” after an officer found narcotics during the traffic stop. The sheriff told the newspaper that Logan tried to “physically run over” the deputies and that the man was bruised by equipment that fell out of the officers' vests during the altercation.

Logan has said that he did not run and had not been in possession of drugs.

He said he feared he would be choked to death by an officer. “I kept yelling at him to stop, but he didn't,” Logan said.

Logan said that before he was taken for medical treatment, he requested police take his photo to document his injuries.

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“The picture speaks for itself,” Logan's lawyer, Carlos Moore, told NBC News.

According to the police report, Logan was stopped at a traffic checkpoint after an officer said he saw him throw a tissue from his car. One officer indicated to another that the tissue held ecstasy pills, and Logan was asked to get out of the vehicle. Logan got out of the car and ran “straight into” one of the officers, who grabbed him and held him to stop him, according to the document. Logan continued to try to get away and was grabbed around the legs and tripped, which brought all the officers to the ground, the document states.

Logan “continued to resist … and then is tased,” according to the police report. He tried to run away while handcuffed and was taken down by four officers, police said. During this altercation, Logan was either hit or during the fall cut his eye and lip, the document states.

"With it being dark in the area we were it was hard to see all the movements at once,” an officer said in the police report. Logan said he did not attempt to run away during the incident.

Logan was charged with two counts of assault on law enforcement and one count of possession of methamphetamines, according to the crime report. He pleaded not guilty. There are no court dates currently set. (I'm no expert but just double-checking as ecstacy and not meth is mentioned above?)

The suit says Logan suffered three facial fractures and his eyes were swollen shut. He told NBC News that an officer hit him in the face with a flashlight and that he still experiences constant pain on his face and has double vision for which he has to wear medicinal glasses for the rest of his life.

“It was just an uneventful night,” Moore said, “that for my client turned out to be a life-changing event.”

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