LAS CRUCES (KRQE) — A Las Cruces man was hospitalized with a skull fracture after two officers used force on him while he was handcuffed in a jail cell. Now, his attorney says the department should be on the hook for what happened.
Russ Flynn was arrested back in December for allegedly pointing a rifle at his neighbor over a parking space and then ignoring the officer’s commands at the scene. It’s what happened after he was handcuffed, in a jail cell at the Las Cruces Police Department, that has him ready to sue.
His attorneys say he kicked the cell door out of frustration and talked back to the officers.
What happened next, was captured on surveillance video. It shows Officers Richard Garcia and Danny Salcido using force on Flynn – so much that he ended up in the ICU.
“It’s absolutely shocking. It was a vicious attack on Mr. Flynn,” said attorney Christopher Cardenas with the Lahann Law Firm, which is representing Flynn. “Mr. Flynn was handcuffed. He was already in police custody. So he was posing no threat to the officers.”
No one at LCPD would talk to KRQE News 13, but Garcia describes the incident differently in a supplemental report.
“[Flynn] was walked back all the way where he did hit his back and head against the wall,” Garcia writes.
Garcia says he used knee kicks “to distract him from grabbing at the officer’s belt.”
It also says that at one point, Flynn pinned the officer between him and the wall.
“The report by the officer doesn’t exactly follow what was recorded in the video,” Cardenas said. “As a matter of fact, the officer seems to be shifting as much blame to Mr. Flynn as possible.”
Flynn’s attorneys sent notice to the City of Las Cruces that they intend to sue. They’re asking for $12.5 million.
“There needs to be repercussions for that,” Cardenas said. “Otherwise, what will end up occuring is, these situations will be repeated because there will be no punishment.”
Flynn’s attorneys also sent a letter to the Dona Ana County District Attorney’s office on Tuesday, pressing for criminal charges against the officers.
LCPD would only say the incident is under investigation.