BPD sued for use of excessive force

By David Yates | Dec 10, 2010

A suspect arrested for burglary claims two Beaumont Police Department officers came up to his vehicle "and started shooting without provocation."

Hoping to recover more than $200,000 in damages, John Whatley filed suit against BPD and Police Chief Frank Coffin on Dec. 8 in Jefferson County District Court.

In his hand-written suit, Whatley says two BPD officers shot him in the hand at Westwood Trailer Park on College Street on the morning of April 6.

He claims the officers used excessive force in his apprehension and endangered the life of a passenger in his vehicle, Kathi Donley.

"This shooting was maliciously and sadistically carried out for the very purpose of causing harm or death to Whatley and his passenger," the suit states.

At the time of the shooting, Whatley was a suspect in a burglary and it had been reported that he had tried to run down and over police officers, the suit alleges.

Whatley is suing for more than $200,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.

Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. B188-931

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