A Delaware man has prevailed in his lawsuit against Seaford police, who confused him for a suspect, tasered him, admitted they had the wrong person, discussed planting drugs in his car–and ultimately, arrested him anyway.
Reginald Johnson’s nightmare began the night of his birthday in 2011. He was pulled over by several police officers and instructed to get out of his car. Johnson was too slow for the officers, however, who tasered him and dragged him out within 15 seconds of giving the command. He was tossed onto the road and roughly handcuffed, according to The News Journal.
The officers had confused Johnson for someone else, and realized they had the wrong man after inspecting his driver’s license. (RELATED: Update: Sheriff Fires Cop Who Choked Student)
The incident was captured on a police dashcam.
One officer can be heard to say: “Dude, we got the wrong guy.”
Johnson was hauled into the back of a police car, protesting all the while that he had done nothing wrong.
One officer jokingly suggested planting drugs in Johnson’s car.
“Someone drop the dope in here,” said an officer.
Nobody followed through on this suggestion. The officers did arrest Johnson for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, however.
Prosecutors later dropped the charges, paving the way for Johnson to file a federal lawsuit. (RELATED: Cop Kills ‘Friendly’ Pooch, Witness Alleges)
On Wednesday, he finally prevailed, reaching a settlement of $270,000 with the Seaford police department.
Johnson’s attorney, Stephen Norman, said he hoped that the amount would persuade the police to be better behaved in the future.
“By putting that much money on the table, they recognize their officers were out of line there,” said Norman in a statement.