Lawsuit: Architect In Diabetic Shock Beaten By Multiple Officers, Pepper Sprayed, and Repeatedly Tasered Before Dying

A disturbing lawsuit has been filed against the Baltimore County Police Department by Linda Johnson over the death of her husband, Architect Carl D. Johnson on May 27, 2010. Johnson was pepper sprayed, tasered, and beaten before his death on the way home from Bible study class.

Linda Johnson is suing the Maryland State Police, Baltimore County Police, individual commanders and six officers. Her lawsuit claims that her husband suffered a diabetic attack after calling a friend and crashing on I-795. First to the scene was State Trooper Davon Parker who pepper sprayed Johnson after he lowered his window of his car, which had crashed into the median. When Johnson got out of the car, Parker clubbed him on the knee and then allegedly another officer (Loss) clubbed him. When Baltimore County Police Officer Nicholas Wolferman arrived, he also allegedly beat Johnson. Three more officers arrived and one, Baltimore County Officer Andrew O’Neill tasered Johnson twice. Officer Loss then allegedly punched him in the face. Eight more officers then arrived — leaving one wondering if there were any officers left at headquarters. The complaint states that “there were approximately 52 individuals that responded to the scene.”

We have been following cases involving the use of tasers and excessive force by police. However, Baltimore has been cited as a standout jurisdiction in the use of tasers — leading to calls for investigation.

Johnson was only 48 and lives behind his wife of 27 years. Their son, Darren Johnson, predeceased his parents and Linda has now lost her husband.

Source: Courthouse

129 thoughts on “Lawsuit: Architect In Diabetic Shock Beaten By Multiple Officers, Pepper Sprayed, and Repeatedly Tasered Before Dying”

  1. Cowardly criminal cops act with impunity
    against hapless citizens daily in America.
    The sob’s are immune from prosecution;
    good cops refuse to stop bad cops, and,
    some are too stupid to stop bad cops.
    America has TOO-MANY cops; most are
    members of a cop union. Many sheriff
    departments, within state counties, serve
    the state first; and those who voted for them
    last. Hang umm all…

  2. I can’t believe this is still happening. My roommate in 2007 was tased by a police officer that responded to a 911 call I made for an ambulance. He knew he was there because she was having a reaction and everything was calm at first but he tasered her twice when she tried to run because she was scared when she realized there were 8 responders standing around our livingroom. Then the police stayed at our house for 2 hours telling us that if we ever call 911 they will bring at least 2 police cars and have her listed as dangerous individual and tried to get her to assure them that she would never get low and aggressive again. We did not sue because the police followed us everywhere and for weeks would drive by in the middle of the night and as they were in front of our house (usually at 2 in the morning) would turn on the sirens and then turn them off at the end of the block. COPS ARE OUT OF CONTROL. Suing them will not bring him back but hopefully it will force change.

  3. Just about a half hour ago I learned something pretty astonishing, but after considering it, I wondered why I was astonished.

    A friend of mine is Black and was riding in his truck in Virginia. He got a cell phone call and, although he couldn’t pick up, he leaned over to see the number coming up on i.d. to figure out whether he had to pull over or not (wife was at the school with one of his kids). He swerved a little. A minute later, lights in the rear view, sirens, and he pulls over and in several seconds, three other squad cars pull up and basically surround him. He is approached and gives his license and registration and waits and the cops (two young white cops) return his paperwork and wave the other squad cars away. Then they chat with him for a few minutes. Thus:

    We can tell you’re not drunk
    We believe you as to why you swerved
    Your record and your license are clear and you have a good driving history
    But before you pulled over, we put your license plate number in the system as a “drunk driver.”

    We did this because if there WAS an incident, you’d already be in the system in case anything happened.

    We now cannot get it OUT of the system.

    But since we’re not giving you a ticket, we want to give you a warning.

    Whenever you’re driving THIS VEHICLE, your name will come up and it will say “DRUNK DRIVING.”

    You will get pulled over more.
    You should never drive this vehicle on a Saturday night; you can get into real trouble because the cops who pull you over may have had a rough night and they may assume you’re dangerous or threatening.

    We give you this warning because you have been so nice, so polite, and you are stone cold sober. We don’t want you to get into trouble through no fault of your own.

    Huh!!! Get that!! First of all, it was nice. Second of all, it was scary.

    I suggested to him that he COULD start up something to get his license plate number taken OFF the “DRUNK DRIVER” database, but he said, “It will be too expensive and somebody will not like it and then I will have more trouble than ever. If I never drive this truck on a Saturday night, I’ll probably be all right.”

  4. The police are being trained by israelis. We’ve been taken over by the israelis. We’re all palestinians now.

  5. One night I typed all night while leaning forward at my typewriter with my legs crossed at the knee. I was so intent on what I was writing that I did not feel any discomfort. When I stood up, at the end of the typing marathon, I fell down. I got back up again, thinking I had just stumbled, and I headed for the door, and fell three times more. Then I realized my left foot was not working. I could push it down but not bring it back UP, so I couldn’t take a step.

    I massaged it for a while, tried this and that, and finally realized I had to go to the E.R. I could drive because that required a down-push and not a pull-back.

    I got there. Answered questions. Fell twice more because they failed to bring a wheel chair. Finally got into a room and waited. I am diabetic and I did answer on the form that I was diabetic.

    They drew blood and hooked me up to some machines, and took vitals. Then a doctor finally came in. He looked totally shocked. I realized he and the staff assumed I was drunk. But I don’t drink at all and my blood alcohol was obviously zero. My blood sugar was relatively normal (a bit high but no big deal) too. The doctor had nothing more in his bag of tricks. I’m sure they wrote “not drunk for some unknown reason” on the chart.

    When I got home it was already time that a doctor’s office was open and I called a friend of mine who is a doctor. He said, “OH your peroneal nerve must be paralyzed. Give it a day or two and if it is still a problem, make an appointment and come in.”

    They didn’t even check for that because they were only thinking “drunk” at the time, not even “diabetic shock” or any of the “Plan B” explanations.

    Imagine if the cops had found me! I hate to think…

  6. Rob Manlove, Professor Turley reported on a civil suit that was filed by the wife of the deceased. When you say:

    “Mr. Turley, as competent as he is, should understand that bringing about justice in a criminal case is not best served by public expose, but rather allowing the justice system to perform it’s prescribed functions. Anything else is a travesty of American law.”

    you are mixing up several issues. FIRST OF ALL, there is no question, now, about the fact that the plaintiff in this lawsuit has alleged that the police were (a) acting outside their lawful authority AND (b) not properly supervised or properly punished for what occurred. Those kinds of things have to do with the “justice system perform[ing] its prescribed functions.” If the facts alleged in the lawsuit prove to be true, the JUSTICE SYSTEM has ALREADY failed to perform its prescribed functions, and now the courts are asked to perform THEIRS, to take care of the travesty that already happened.

    The expose is of the LAWSUIT.

    I think everybody on this blog knows that I will not hesitate to disagree with the Professor, but in this case, I think his “expose” of this “travesty” is commendable. A person shouldn’t have to hire a private lawyer to make the justice system work, but that is often the case.

  7. This the first I have seen of this incident. My wife is from the Baltimore area and I am sure, if the behavior of these officers is as reported by Mrs. Johnson and J. Turley, she would be appalled at the acceptance of this type of behavior by law enforcement officers. As a retired county officer living in Indiana I have had the opportunity to see the best and the worst of police work. Unfortunately there are times when police officers do overreact to unassuming actions on the part of a suspect. I believe it is best if we wait to see exactly what the evidence reveals before we decide to convict 52 officers and their individual departments. However, if these officers acted outside of the prescribed professional roles as peace officers, then by all means, they should face the harshest of judgements for their actions. There is simply NO reason to beat a man to death that appears, first, to be unarmed, and second may have given the appearance only of intoxication, which is common with diabetic episodes, and every officer I worked with was trained to observe for these symptoms before assuming alcohol or drug intoxication.

    As I mentioned, time will reveal all of the true facts. Even if the officers are found not guilty due to perjuring their testimony to avoid criminal punishment, eventually, that will also be found out. Be patient, let the law work the way it is designed to work, and do not let individuals such as Jonathan Turley try these officers in the court of public opinion until a trial before a jury has had the impact needed to propel it to public opinion or bias. Mr. Turley, as competent as he is, should understand that bringing about justice in a criminal case is not best served by public expose, but rather allowing the justice system to perform it’s prescribed functions. Anything else is a travesty of American law.

    1. Rob, if police officers are being trained to recognize diabetics in crisis, then their training is woefully inadequate. I can tell you from many a night working the ER that I have seen way too many diabetics brought in as “drunk,” and the police swear that they “smell alcohol.” But, a quick check of the patient shows that they are diabetics, not drunks. A little insulin or sugar as appropriate, and they are soon awake and alert, wondering how they got to the ER. The police rarely back down, though, and still insist that they smelled alcohol, and insist the person was drunk, even though subsequent blood tests show there to be zero alcohol on board. I am NOT impressed with police training. Let us hope after this incident that ALL police are brought back in for more detailed training. If this report is true, that 52 police officers were present while this man was beaten and tazed to death, then NONE of these thugs should be wearing a badge! They themselves are a menace to society!

  8. We are in a civil war, do not think otherwise. That is why Indiana passed a law that it is legal for citizens to defend themselves against the police, you better do it. Choice, kill or be killed.

  9. The police officers will pay with much more than their lives when they take their last breath and realize they’ve been jettesoned into Hell for all eternity.

  10. Reading this type of thing makes me sick. We live in a lawless police state. Where the cops are often worse criminals than the ones in prison.

    Taser openly admits that their weapons can kill when used above the waist. This makes their use in any situation like this murder.

    50+ on 1 sounds like the typical overkill response of hyped up criminals gone wild now known as police. We need some layoffs or imprisonment to trim the force a bit. Save a few tax dollars too. How are 50 even available to respond to a call?

    I hope his wife is victorious. But even so it will be little tribute.

  11. When the time comes LEO’s that will be willing to enforce mass tyranny should make sure they have told their wives, husbands and children they love them because they may not be coming home. They also shoul dbe more concerned that retribution doesn’t visit their home while they are abusing their oath.

  12. I’ll bet these officers wouldn’t want their family members beaten and murdered on the highways by a group of military type Goons. Hope they sleep well tonight. Vengeance is mine Says the Eternal….

  13. The police are behaving more like foreign German military(circa 1938) than how American police have traditionally been trained-to be polite, kind, and resourceful. Those old days are gone for good. The NDAA has taken away our rights to a speedy trial-the congressional Republicans don’t want to even be bothered with trials,judges,etc. They want to be able to kill you just for being suspected of terrorism-no proof necessary! November is coming! Lets take out the garbage!

    1. Republicans? Patty, perhaps you missed the memo, but Obama is a DEMOCRAT. The Senate is controlled by DEMOCRATS. Eric Holder, the Chief Law Enforcement officer is a DEMOCRAT. This isn’t a Republican issue. Yes, we DO need to take out the trash in November. And we WILL. But the trash is mostly in the form of Donkeys, NOT Elephants.

  14. It seems that i am lucky. I had interaction with police and state troopers on two occasions here in Alaska. In both cases the first thing the officers asked was if I was all right…

    1. Unfortunately, more and more police are becoming VERY violent and VERY reactionary. There are some good ones around. Fortunately, I live in a small town where everyone knows the cops. Many locals were their classmates. BUT that is NOT true in too many cities today. Henderson/Las Vegas, Nevada cops are among the most violent and vicious in the country, and they have NO respect for you. There are a few other cities like this, and they NEED to be brought up sharply and reminded Which is the public, and Which is the servant. Apparently Baltimore has a Las Vegas problem. Vicious, stupid cops. They should all be imprisoned!

  15. This is the result of having thugs and bullies at the head of our nation. They see the president checking his “hit list” and ordering drones to kill the mark. No terrorist should be killed outside of the rules of engagement. None should go without due process like those at Guantanamo and the Ft. Hood killer.

  16. I really hope the plaintiff’s p.i. lawyer on this case is good, because just as one can’t rely upon the law for protection, one can’t always rely upon the lawyers for the law.

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