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Texas dash cam may show excessive force

September 1, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Newly released police dash camera video may help a man win his excessive force lawsuit against several Texas police officers.Derrick Newman has filed suit against five officers that took part in arresting him back on August 24th, 2007.

Newman was a passenger in a car that Beaumont police pulled over.

Another passenger in the car had an outstanding warrant for his arrest at the time.

In the tape, Newman can be seen standing against the back of a police cruiser, with his hands on the trunk, when a scuffle ensues, and one of the officers begins striking Newman to the ground with a club.

Newman was then taken into custody for resisting arrest, but never charged.

Last Month, a grand jury indicted David Todd Burke, 43, and James Cody Guedry, 27, for official oppression in connection to the arrest.

Burke is accused of striking Newman 13 times with a club, while Guedry is accused of twice firing a taster on him.

Meantime, Newman has filed an excessive force suit against them both, as well as three other officers involved.

The videotape is expected to play a key role in both the criminal case, and the civil suit.

The Beaumont Police Officers Association released a statement following the indictments, stating it proudly stands behind the officers and believes they'll be vindicated, when all of the evidence comes out.

"Officers Burke and Gudry did not do a thing wrong," said Mitch Adams, an attorney for the Beaumont Police Department. "They did exactly what they were trained to do."

"I was mortified when I saw that video," countered Newman's attorney Mitch Adams. "I was outraged just like I would anticipate every member of Jefferson County, all of the citizens should be outraged when they see that video. And absolutely the citizens should have a right to view this video and form their own conclusions."

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