A cancer patient will be paid $300,000 by the city of Long Beach to settle a lawsuit in which he accused police officers of using excessive force against him during an encounter in 2022. According to the Long Beach Post, the incident between Johnny Jackson and the officers stemmed from him driving with an expired car registration.
Besides the excessive force allegations, Jackson in the October lawsuit also accused the officers of acting negligently and violating his civil rights. The settlement amount was agreed by the City Council during a closed session meeting on January 16.
Jackson, in the lawsuit filed against the city of Long Beach and its police department, said he had just left the hospital after undergoing surgery for prostate cancer. He said the police pulled him over while he was returning home from Staples, adding that he had driven to the store to do a copy of a doctor’s note to give to his employer.
The incident, which occurred on September 22, 2022, was captured on police bodycam. In the video, Jackson is seen outside his Long Beach home and having a conversation with Long Beach police officers.
Three officers are also seen approaching Jackson while an unmarked police car is spotted around the plaintiff’s house. An officer is heard telling Jackson to remain in his car before he is seen coming out of the vehicle.
Jackson is also heard telling the officer he is unarmed and stays at the home. The officer, however, tells Jackson that he has to remain in the car. Jackson is seen putting some papers on top of the car and raising his hands after the officer tells him to approach him.
The officer also orders Jackson to place his hands at the back of his head. But Jackson returns to the car to try and prevent some of the papers from blowing away after one of the sheets flies away.
And though Jackson is told by the officer to stop, he informs the law enforcement official that the documents are vital to him as he has recently undergone surgery. An officer is then seen approaching Jackson and grabbing his arm while another colleague grabs the plaintiff’s other arm.
Jackson tells the officers to exercise caution as he has just gone under the knife. “You’re doing a lot of talking and not a lot of listening,” an officer is heard telling Jackson. “Stop, listen to me, put your hands behind your back, if you resist, you will get hurt.”
Jackson then replies and says he will file a lawsuit if he’s hurt. Shortly after, the officers are seen arresting Jackson with force. An officer is also seen appearing to strike Jackson with his knee at least three times, per the Long Beach Post.
“What is going on with you,” one of the officers is heard asking Jackson. “I told the guy I just had surgery,” Jackson replies.
Jackson is later placed in the back of the unmarked police car. He is also heard asking why he was threatened by one of the officers. “Why can’t you listen to anything we’re saying? Why do you think you’re running the show here?” an officer asks Jackson. “Why did we have to get to this point?”
Jackson then says that though he saw the officers attempting to pull him over, he opted to continue his journey home as he was aware his car tags had expired. “So why are you forcing us to use force on you?” the officer questions, to which Jackson responds, saying that though he tried to hear what was being told him, he was being threatened by an officer while the other officers tried to have a conversation with him simultaneously.
“I just had a four-hour surgery and I’m messed up,” Jackson tells them. “But that threat, officer, wasn’t necessary.”
“What threat?” the officer asks. The officer then tells Jackson that the law allows them to use excessive force if he refuses to comply. “I was going to cooperate with everything officer,” Jackson explains before the officer tells him he’s fortunate they did not discharge a taser, pepper spray, or wrestle him to the ground.
“Think about that next time,” the officer tells him. “You might be going to jail now.”
The lawsuit stated that Jackson received a citation for having an expired car registration and resisting arrest, adding that he also went to an emergency room to receive treatment for the injuries he sustained from the encounter.
One of Jackson’s attorneys, Adante Pointer, accused the officers of being shockingly disrespectful in the way they handled the plaintiff. Pointer said his client was just trying to let the officers know he had undergone serious surgery and was recovering, the Long Beach Post reported.
“These officers were hyper-aggressive when all they were dealing with was a supposed traffic violation,” Pointer said. The attorney also said the officers should be criminally charged for their actions.