Courts & Crime

Video shows Fort Worth officer slamming man into floor

FORT WORTH -- A videotape recorded at the downtown Fort Worth police station showing an officer slamming a handcuffed man into the wall of a jail cell and then smashing his head onto the floor was released Monday by the man and his attorney.

Carey Cass Hudson, 40, sued two officers and the city of Fort Worth in federal court about a year after the incident, which occurred June 14, 2008.

The city offered Hudson $120,000 to settle the lawsuit, which was dismissed Friday by U.S. District Judge John McBryde.

The City Council is scheduled to consider the settlement offer Tuesday.

Hudson has said he was changing a flat tire in the 1900 block of I.M. Terrell Way when officer F.V. Anderson arrested him on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, even though she never saw him driving. The lawsuit states that he was beaten by officer Collin Harris while he was in handcuffs and in a secure area of the downtown holding facility. He was surrounded by other police and jailers, he said.

A subsequent DWI charge was dismissed, but the reason for the dismissal remains unclear.

Hudson said he has not been able to work since and suffers from traumatic brain damage.

"I can assure you that Hudson was treated unfairly by these officers," said his attorney, Greg Fitzgerald.

The video shows Harris handcuffing Hudson's wrists behind his back, grabbing the back of his head and slamming his face into a wall and into the floor. At one point, Hudson is rolling on the floor, blood dripping from his face while officers and jail personnel hover around him in a semicircle. He lost consciousness for a while. Hudson suffered a broken nose, broken eye orbit, lacerations on his face and head, a broken temporary bridge and a concussion, the lawsuit stated.

Harris refused to give Hudson access to two paramedics at the Police Department and one nurse at John Peter Smith Hospital who offered medical care, according to the lawsuit. Hudson was not treated until he posted bail and left the jail several hours later, according to the filing.

"Anyone who saw the video probably shared my thoughts of concern for Mr. Hudson," Mayor Mike Moncrief said in an e-mail Monday. "Although Chief Halstead had not yet arrived in Fort Worth at the time of this incident, I'm pleased that he is taking proactive steps to avoid such a circumstance in the future."

The lawsuit was dismissed Friday, and by Sunday, Hudson had posted the video on his website, Fitzgerald said he provided Hudson a copy of the video.

The initial internal review in the case occurred when Hudson presented an insurance claim, which triggered only a cursory examination of the incident, police said. During the initial review, no video was produced, police said. Hudson never made an internal affairs complaint, and an internal investigation did not begin until he sued on Aug. 14, 2009.

Then, a more thorough search produced a video recording, police said.

During that time, the clock on the type of discipline that could be imposed on officers was ticking, and it ran out in December 2008.

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