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Posts from Joshua Newville, a Minnesota employment lawyer, civil rights attorney, and mediator.

Man Suffers Stroke While Driving; Is Tazed, Pepper Sprayed, and Has Foot Run Over

A Virginia police officer has resigned after being accused of using excessive force when responding to a call about a potential hit-and-run. Fredericksburg, VA Police Officer Shaun Jergens was among several who responded to a reported accident on May 4, 2015. Jergens, apparently like the other officers on the scene, assumed that a black man in a stopped car was being noncompliant.

In actuality, the man had apparently suffered a stroke. Despite no evidence of willful and active resistance, the officers proceeded to taze and pepper spray the man. Once they had him out of the car and on the ground, the man’s foot was then run over by his own vehicle. Reports the NY Daily News:

“It was dispatched via the radio that citizens reported that the suspect was moving around a lot inside of his vehicle,” Jergens said in a statement to the Free Lance-Star. “I believed that the suspect may be looking for a weapon or looking to conceal a weapon based on this information and the fact that he was believed to be fleeing a felony (hit and run of an occupied vehicle).”

Although most police officers are good people, too often, cops treat all citizens that they interact with as both criminals and as people undeserving of respect. This can be the result of a police department that fosters such a culture. We represent victims of police misconduct, excessive force, and unlawful arrest. It is a violation of the 4th Amendment of the Constitution when cops act in such manners. Federal law allows victims of police abuse to file federal lawsuits.


Joshua Newville is a Minnesota employment lawyer, civil rights attorney, and mediator. Josh litigates and advises on such matters as wrongful termination, whistleblowers, discrimination, police misconduct, and more. He offers paid legal consultations and free online case reviews regarding employment law and civil rights.

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