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ASH FLAT, ARK. – Attorneys James W. Harris and Zachary W. Morrison of Blytheville have filed a civil rights lawsuit in Sharp County, Arkansas Circuit Court against four police officers, the mayors of Cherokee Village and Ash Flat, Arkansas, Sharp County, Arkansas, and the Sheriff of Sharp County, Arkansas for an alleged beating of a Sharp County man in 2016 by law enforcement.
The lawsuit alleges that on November 12, 2016, that law enforcement responded to a call at Plaintiff Randall Veazie’s residence in Ash Flat where they found Veazie in a state of apparent intoxication. Veazie was then placed in hand-cuffs, and Officer Josh Trivett body slammed Plaintiff to the floor, exclaiming at the same time, “I body slammed the mother-f***er.”
Police body camera video shows Officer Tom Rigsby standing over Veazie while he was on the ground handcuffed. The video shows Rigsby yelling at Veazie and then striking Veazie on the right side of his face and head with a “mag light” flash light. When Rigsby struck Veazie on the face and head, Trivell covered his body camera lens with his right hand in an effort to conceal any evidence as to what happened. Later, the law enforcement officers can be seen on video standing around, laughing, and mentioning how bad Veazie was bleeding.
As a result of the unlawful actions of law enforcement, the blow to Veazie’s face and head with the “mag light” caused a left nasal bone fracture, a midline mandibular fracture, a comminuted dislocated mandibular head, and multiple deep lacerations to Veazie’s face, neck, and head. Morrison said that his medical bills to date have exceeded $50,000.00.
Morrison said that, upon information and belief that the matter remains under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Arkansas State Police.
Harris, stated, “I am appalled at the actions of these individual officers, as well by the inaction of the leadership of their departments in failing to correct the officer’s gross misconduct. “There is no excuse for this officer’s actions, and with the current civil unrest that is sweeping this country, this type of action only provokes and promotes negative reaction.”