The state of California has awarded an Army veteran who was left paralyzed after being slammed to the ground during a traffic stop in 2020 a $20 million settlement, one of the largest in the state’s history, officials stated.
Gregory Gross, 65, was left with a broken neck after officers slammed him to the ground and forcibly held him there following a traffic stop in which officers used “pain compliance” techniques, despite having already handcuffed Gross, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Gross, who was pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving and causing a slow-speed collision, reportedly told officers repeatedly he could not feel his legs and that he could not breathe as they held him down, the outlet stated.
Gregory Gross was left paralyzed after he was slammed to the ground during a traffic stop in Yuba City in 2020. https://t.co/YYgrfFyhOc
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) July 12, 2023
Body camera footage presented as evidence shows that the officers dismissed Gross’ claims, telling him, “You’re talking. You can breathe,” and “Mr. Gross, we are done with your silly little games,” when he claimed again that he could not feel his arms or his legs.
Gross underwent two surgeries to fuse his spine and has been left unable to walk or care for himself, requiring 24/7 nursing care, the AP reported.
Yuba City Police Chief Brian Baker apologized to Gross at a news conference Tuesday, telling the veteran he had been in his thoughts since the incident was brought to his attention. As part of the settlement, Yuba City will randomly audit officer’s body camera footage and review use of force incidents, the outlet stated.
“We are not against the police,” Gross’s lawyer Moseley Collins stated, according to the AP. “We are for the police, but we are against police brutality when it occurs.”
Gross plans on donating $20,000 of his settlement to the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation.