Man accuses Denton police officers of excessive force

By Carol Ostrow | Apr 17, 2015

SHERMAN – A man is suing the Denton police officers he alleges unlawfully arrested him while using excessive force.

SHERMAN – A man is suing the Denton police officers he alleges unlawfully arrested him while using excessive force.

Jason Bishop alleges he was sitting in front of an old bookstore on the campus of the University of North Texas when two Denton police officers confronted him and asked him what he had been drinking.

"Bishop was not in an intoxicated state and advised the officers accordingly, but despite this he was arrested and taken into custody for possession of alcohol and public intoxication without conducting any field sobriety test," states the lawsuit filed Sept. 19 in U.S. District Court's Sherman Division for the Eastern District of Texas.

While Bishop was being transported to the Denton City Jail, the complaint states, officer Darius M. Porter harassed him.

"During the booking of Bishop, Porter and other police officers can be seen in a jail surveillance video lifting Bishop from a bench and violently slamming his head into a desk for no lawful reason and without being provoked to do so," the lawsuit states. "The violent blow caused Bishop to suffer a temporary blackout and severe head injuries."

As Bishop was being transported to a holding cell, Porter applied an illegal leg sweep, which resulted in Bishop falling face first into the concrete floor, causing a severe cut to his forehead and nose, the complaint states.

"Bishop was left face down in a pool of blood on the jail floor for nearly two minutes and was later transported to the hospital, where he was treated for injuries that could have resulted in his death or permanent brain damage," the lawsuit states. "As a result of the injuries, Bishop will have permanent scars on his face."

Bishop contends he had no reason to be attacked by the officers.

He alleges excessive force against the defendants, saying the police department failed to adequately train, supervise and discipline police officers and jailers, and subjected people to unreasonable and inhuman treatment. He also accuses the officers of false arrest, failure to train, assault and battery, and of negligent failure to train and discipline.

In his complaint, Bishop seeks actual and exemplary damages, plus pre-judgment interest at the legal rate, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Bishop is represented by attorney Daryl K. Washington of Dallas.

U.S. District Court's Sherman Division of the Eastern District of Texas case no. 4:14-CV-608

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