Travis Richardson sued Virginia officers for assault, battery and excessive force. After Richardson denied permission for them to search his home for suboxone, the officers beat him up in his own house in August 2019.
Richardson suffered a drug-related health emergency. A relative called 911 for immediate medical attention. Richardson was already being assisted by fire and rescue personnel when police arrived. Richardson claimed that he took suboxone and that he was able to provide proof. Richardson insisted that he had taken suboxone, but the cops demanded proof. Richardson allegedly “provided the name, address and telephone number of his physician to Deputy Smith”, pointed to his bedroom to point in that direction, but refused to give officers permission to search the room.
The interaction can also be seen on video, with the Tasing. this tweetJoshua Erlich is Richardson’s lawyer
See Dep. Daren Smith @SpotsySheriffTravis Richardson is calmly told by Travis Richardson that he will tase him and attacks Travis from behind. Travis calls his grandma to help him. Smith taps him once more.
Illegal. Unprovoked. Unconstitutional. pic.twitter.com/WwGMZoSwk6
— Joshua Erlich (@JoshuaErlich) December 6, 2021
The lawsuit claims that Thomas Grasso, Spotsylvania County Deputy, grabbed Richardson out of his bathroom. Richardson wanted to know why the incident was occurring when Deputy DarenSmith “approached Richardson from behind, and told him that he was going to tase him.” Richardson was non-threatening and was able to comply at that point. The deputies had given no verbal instructions to Mr. Richardson and Richardson did not show anything but a willingness for him to obey them.
Smith used the taser against Richardson. He was tased for five seconds by the deputy, who “continued pressing the taser into Richardson’s back while he fell to his knees screaming.”
Richarson fell to the ground and begged his grandmother for assistance. According to his suit and video, the officers “pushed Richarson on his stomach with his arms folded behind his back, onto the ground, face down.” Despite Richardson appearing calm and subdued, Deputy Smith pulled again the trigger on his taser while pushing it into Richardson’s hip. After instructing Mr. Richardson, Deputy Smith said for the first-time: “Put you hands behind your back. I’m going tase again.”
Grasso got angry at the helpless victim he attacked during a medical emergency. He shouted at him as he lay on his stomach: “You’re never going to tell us that we do not have permission to come here!” The men also shouted at him because he had fallen onto their Taser.
Richardson and Smith were taken to an ambulance by Grasso, according to the suit. Richardson was then informed that another deputy had told him, after Smith took him there, “you’re not being arrested.” “You are currently being treated.”
Richardson also reported that the officers stole Richardson’s cell phone and are still waiting to get it back.
Later, Grasso claimed that Richardson ordered them out of his home and refused to give up his control for them. These allegations are refuted by police footage.
Richardson’s lawsuit states that Richardson was targeted because Richardson refused to give permission for police to conduct a warrantless raid of Richardson’s home. Richardson was charged with felony offenses that were, according to the suit, retaliatory lies. These included “disarming an officer of law enforcement of a stun guns” and “felony assault on a police officer.”
According to the suit, Smith claimed that Richardson was being charged with making false accusations in order to prevent him from getting bail. Richardson did not get bail for several weeks following his arrest. Before trial, his charges were reduced from felony to misdemeanor.
Richardson seeks compensation damages of around $2,500 in Richardson’s lawsuit
$600,000.00″ “punitive damages to each of the Counts against
Indicted in an amount not to exceed $350,000.00 per charge” and attorney’s fees. “Injunctive Relief” requires that Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office officers receive training on proper force use and ways of dealing with those suffering from mental or drug-related disorders.