Houston Family Sues Harris County For Abuse Allegedly Caught On Tape

premium_article_portraitA federal civil rights suit filed Friday raises some troubling questions about the conduct of Harris County deputies. As shown on the video below, David Braxton Scherz Jr., 26, was arrested on Sept. 10, 2011, along with his father, mother, sister and aunt in front of their Houston home. Scherz was stopped for running a stop sign and the scene quickly escalated due, it seems, to the action of the officers. A Harris County deputy constable held Scherz down and kicked him until he, Scherz, had multiple broken ribs. The police never had probable cause for any of the family arrests and all charges were later dropped. As for David Scherz, he was not charged with the traffic violation but for denting the car of the deputies. The videotape also shows a family member being arrested after an officer spots her with a camera.

When Scherz was stopped on the minor traffic violation, his mother came out of the house. Officers ordered her back inside, though she was a right to be outside as long as she is not interfering with the police. When she objected that the police have no right to be on her property, she was put into custody. A deputy identified as Jimmie Drummond (now a captain) is shown kicking David Scherz as he is lying face down on the street with his hands behind him. As other officers hold him down, he kicks Scherz repeatedly in the ribs and then in the head. An officer is also shown dropping a knee on the back of his neck.

What is most notable is that (now Captain) Drummond insists that he has no memory of stomping on anyone. He stated “I remember the incident, but I don’t remember kicking anybody on the ground. I remember kicking a dog, but not a person.” I am not sure which is worse, doing this act or not remembering it.

David’s mother, Yvonne Scherz, 57, is a petroleum engineer and was charged with misdemeanor charges of interference with the peace officer.

David’s father, 58-year-old David Braxton Scherz Sr., and his sister, 24-year-old Elizabeth Scherz were charged with felony assault. Notably, an officer is heard saying “Get her, she has a camera,” as Elizabeth stood in the driveway filming the arrest of her mother and father. Deputies took away the iPhone. This is part of a pattern of such abusive arrests of citizens who film police in public.

All of the charges against the family were dropped, which also fits a pattern. In many police abuse cases, we see witnesses and victims handed criminal charges that are later dropped. These charges can intimidate citizens and discourage them from going public with complaints.

David was not charged with the original offense but with criminal mischief for denting the hood of a deputy’s vehicle. He insists that he was trying to take shoes to his mother, who was being dragged by officers to a patrol car.

There is notably no known charge or disciplinary action that has been taken against the officers for the slew of charges or the physical actions taken on the video. It is also unclear if the officers reported the kicking and accurate facts in their post-arrest statements. It is also unclear if prosecutors saw these tapes and took no steps to look into abuse by the officers. There are a lot of questions and few answers in the case. Once again, absent the civil lawsuit, it is not clear if any action, let alone answers, would be forthcoming in the case.

Kudos: Michael Blott

29 thoughts on “Houston Family Sues Harris County For Abuse Allegedly Caught On Tape”

  1. Here is my personal suggestion to solve all of these incidents: Do away with “Police”. The profession is an offense to the Constitution, to its prohibition against standing armies. The crimes they commit under this unlawful precedent are far greater in scope, extent and especially numbers than any that would occur without them. For one, private law would take its place to the extent that society demanded it. Second, people (not sheeple) would be empowered to defend themselves. Third, without a victim, there would not be a crime (supposedly current common law – Hah). As a follow up solution, hang every control freak from a lamp pole by one ankle. Crows don’t get enough from road kill, you know.

  2. I want to KNOW WHY Congress is so interested in going to the ME to “protect democracy” when we all could use some protection ourselves from people who call themselves police?

  3. Just wait until people start plugging cops in self defense. I know If a family member in the above had come out shooting I would never convict. Id fight like hell for acquittal for them.

    Why should people be legally held back from saving the life of someone being beaten just because the attackers are the police? Its time for true justice. Indiana put in a good law where you can pop a cop who is illegally in your home. Thats a start.

    But the reality is like was pointed out above, that as long as cops are never held criminally responsible for this stuff and I mean fired and charged with felony a&B, it will continue. If everyone of those cops were sent to prison for 2-3 years, it would go a long ways to changing the mindset of the police.

  4. Such highly trained professional sheriffs deputies statist thugs in Harris County Texas, operating under the colour of the law, Justice Scalia would be proud.

    The video clearly shows this was nothing less than a thug scrum not a professional policing action.

    How many highly trained professional sheriffs deputies statist thugs does it take to apprehend a motorist who ran a stop sign?

    I counted eleven, plus the depraved turd stain known as Jimmie Drummond.

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