Jury Returns Verdict for Sheriff’s Deputy in Excessive Force Case

December 19, 2019
Juries in law enforcement cases these days can be unpredictable. So ,when a jury returns a verdict in favor of a cop in an excessive force case, it is cause for celebration. On December 17, 2019, a federal jury in Rockford found that a DeKalb County Deputy Sheriff did not use excessive force against a jail detainee. The case is entitled Lawson v. Conlon, 17 CV 50099 (N.D. Ill. Western Division) and pitted the testimony of an out of control detainee versus a sheriff’s deputy who used deescalating restraint measures to ensure the safety and security of the jail. The plaintiff claimed that the deputy choked him as he was placing the plaintiff into a restraint chair in a padded cell and that the deputy later entered the padded cell alone and punched him gratuitously in the eye causing the eye to swell and blacken. However, the jury believed the deputy’s testimony that the punch never happened and that the plaintiff’s eye injury was self-inflicted. After being out only 40 minutes, the jury found in favor of the deputy and against the plaintiff. The deputy was represented at trial by HCB attorneys Mike Bersani and David Mathues.

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