Harrison County, Texas (KETK) —
A Sergeant with the Harrison County Sheriff's Office has been cleared of any wrong-doing in a lawsuit filed by a former inmate in the Harrison County Jail.
A unanimous verdict by a jury in Marshall voted in favor of Sgt. Eric Harmon who was being sued by Alvin Cedric Weathersby, who claims Harmon used excessive force and fractured his ankle while in custody.
Harmon denied the allegations by Weathersby and the jury was presented with extensive evidence, including video of the incident, showing Weathersby was belligerent and presented vulgar and dangerous behavior. Weathersby's actions required the level of force used to control him for the safety of jail personnel.
Weathersby was initially arrested for disorderly conduct with three priors, open container in a vehicle, expired registration, expired DOT inspection certificate, and terroristic threat against public servant in 2011.
The complaint against Harmon was originally filed October 11, 2011, claiming Weathersby was subjected to excessive force. He claims he was arrested with his hands behind his back without any physical provocation when Harmon grabbed Weathersby, threw him to the ground and landed on top of him, fracturing his ankle.
Weathersby says the "body slam" caused significant injury and so much pain that he was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Weathersby says he did not violate any laws in the presence of Harmon. He was not trying to flee and did not attempt to hit not threaten to engage in any physical altercation with Harmon.
Weathersby was suing for compensation due to physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, past and future physical impairment and loss of future and past wages. He also claims the use of excessive force was a violation to his Fourth Amendment rights under the United State's Constitution.
After Harmon was cleared of all allegations, his lawyer released the following statement:
"We're extremely happy with the jurors verdict, and we feel like it completely exonerates Sgt. Harmon of any improper use of force. In fact, it was Mr. Weathersby who exhibited profane and violent conduct."