Man sues city, officers alleging false arrest

By Carol Ostrow | Apr 22, 2015

TYLER – A Van Zandt County resident is suing a municipality and two of its officials, alleging several counts of harassment in a 2012 series of incidents.

Leldon Ray Bement filed a lawsuit on April 10 against James Bradshaw of Mabank, individually and in his official capacity as a police officer; Canton City Police Chief Mike Echols; and the city of Canton, Texas, in the Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas, claiming unlawful arrest in November 2012.

According to the lawsuit, Bradshaw first pulled Bement over on or about Nov. 14, 2012, while driving. He searched the vehicle and threatened to arrest Bement for possession of purportedly legally prescribed hydrocodone pills. The complaint states that Officer Bradshaw pulled Bement over a second time on or about Nov. 28; arrested him on charges of manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine; and incarcerated him. In a third incident on Dec. 21, Bradshaw charged the plaintiff with engaging in organized criminal activity.

Bradshaw, according to court documents, was subsequently arrested by the FBI and charged with drug-related crimes. In his plea, he admitted stealing drugs in his capacity as a policeman.

Bement alleges wrongdoing on the part of the Canton Police Department for its alleged role in covering up or enabling Bradshaw’s activities. He claims infringement of his civil rights, wrongful arrest, a culture of acquiescence within the police department, and counts of malicious prosecution, assault and battery, and false imprisonment.

The plaintiff seeks: exemplary and punitive damages; pre- and post-judgment interest; attorney’s fees; expenses; and costs. He is represented by Darren Grant and Matthew Flanery of Grant and Flanery in Tyler.

Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas case no. 6:15-cv-00391

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