An attorney for a man fell on his head by Georgia deputies during a wrongful arrest says they are considering legal action against the sheriff’s office and its associates.
Hall County Sheriff’s Deputy dropped Dewon Greer on his head while escorting him through prison last September, leaving him with permanent eye damage. However, Greer and his attorney said he shouldn’t have been arrested in the first place.
Georgia state police officers pulled Greer over a broken taillight and found his driver’s license was suspended for unpaid child support. However, he had paid his child support in full and he had documents in his car to prove it.
Greer said police refused to see the documents and took him to the Hall County jail, where he was handed over to sheriff’s deputies.
“The fundamental duty of law enforcement is to serve the communities they are sworn to protect,” attorney LaRhonda Nicks told the Atlanta Black Star. “In Mr. Greer’s case, based on surveillance footage, it appears that the officers involved made no effort to de-escalate this situation.”
Processed body-worn camera footage obtained by the Atlanta Black Star shows at least six officers escorting a handcuffed Greer down a hallway and into a small cell. There they threw him on his head after ordering him to get on his knees.
“Oh, he’s bleeding! He’s bleeding,” says a police officer.
“I thought you had his shoulder,” says one officer.
“I thought you had his shoulder!” says another officer.
“Knocked him out badly,” says one police officer.
Greer was reportedly knocked unconscious. When he woke up, he had a large lump in his eye.
“Someone take a picture of that blood!” Greer yelled as deputies escorted him out of the cell.
One of his eyes was swollen shut afterwards, and he now has a lazy eye, among other long-lasting injuries from the ordeal. He was accused of driving with a suspended or revoked license, not having insurance, staying in lane, making a terrorist threat and having a cracked taillight.
All charges were dropped, but Greer was left with a $200 royalty, a Greer family spokesman told the Atlanta Black Star.
“Now, Mr. Greer has sustained multiple permanent injuries at the hands of these officers, and our legal team intends to review any possible remedies available to the Greers,” Nix said.
Greer was on his way to meet his wife at the dock for one of their many getaways on their boat. State police officers refused to let Greer retrieve the documents from the car, so his wife rushed to the scene to see if she could help.
Constance Greer asked officers if she could get the documents for her husband from the car, but they wouldn’t let her.
“When my husband was taken into custody by Hall County law enforcement, he didn’t have a broken face with a deformed eye,” she told the Atlanta Black Star. “There should never be an excuse for officers to physically abuse inmates and that seems to be the culture these days.”
Greer also had to deal with the psychological impact of the arrest, he said.
“As a black man and a parent of little black boys, I understand the importance of teaching my kids respect for law enforcement,” he told the Atlanta Black Star. “But it’s hard to have respect for those who abuse their power and abuse those they are meant to protect and serve.”