HOUSTON - A new federal lawsuit is being filed against the City of Houston, alleging excessive force in the Houston city jail.
Images from a city jail camera from May 2015 show Akrem Azzaz, arrested on a weapons charge, being beaten while he is in handcuffs.
Jailer Lasswon Shannon pled guilty and was fired.
“He punched me like how you see my hands, punching, swinging,” Azzaz said. “He opened my lip from inside, made some bruises around my eyes, and he, like, made some bruises around the cuffs ,because he lifted me from the cuffs, and he dislocated my shoulders.”
Attorney Randall Kallinen represents the 26-year-old convenience store clerk and Reuben Williams, who was arrested for D.U.I. and harassing an officer. Jail camera video from November 2014 appears to show a jailer slam Williams’ head into a door jamb. Williams required 10 stitches.
Both men have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Houston and the individual jailers.
Kallinen says it’s part of pattern. Azzaz’s suit lists 30 video clips of alleged excessive force at the Houston city jail.
They are seeking punitive damages and de-escalation training for jailers, who they acknowledge often face combative situations.
“They should be trained not to engage in violence by striking someone who is in handcuffs," Kallinen said.
Despite the beating, Azzaz is grateful to another Houston Police Department employee, an officer who took him to the clinic and helped photograph his injuries.
“Very very nice officer he did do a lot...to bring the picture and the investigation to be in this position right now,” Azzaz said. “He is a real man who did his job.”
The city declined to comment because the cases are still pending.
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