A Missouri man who said he was mistaken for a criminal, beaten by Ferguson cops and charged for bleeding on their uniforms can now continue his lawsuit over the alleged assault — nearly six years after the incident, a court ruled Tuesday.
Henry Davis, 53, won a federal court appeal to reinstate his suit claiming three Ferguson officers violated his rights and used excessive force during a brutal 2009 arrest.
His case got halted last year when a judge said his injuries weren’t severe enough to prosecute the police officers — despite a booking photo that shows Davis bleeding from his head.
Davis was stopped for speeding and arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated in Sept. 2009, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. After struggling with officers when they tried putting him in an occupied jail cell, their fight turned violent, leaving David bloodied and one of the officers with a broken nose.
Davis said in his suit, initially filed in 2010, that he was wrongly arrested after police confused him with another Henry Davis, and that he was beaten “without provocation while he was handcuffed on the ground.” The officers countered that Davis was drunk during his arrest and started the fight. They also charged him with property damage after he bled on them.
Davis’ troubles with Ferguson cops came years before the police shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, which set off continuing racial tensions and protests in the Missouri city. That case eventually led to a damning Department of Justice review that found racial bias and corruption in the city’s justice departments, leading to exits from several top officials.
One of the officers in the case, Kim Tihen, is now a member of Ferguson’s City Council.