Man files civil rights suit against DPD officers

A North Texas man has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Dallas and three police officers.

The city admits that the officers broke the rules and has offered a settlement, but Sherrard Taylor and his attorney say the offer is an insult.

Two years ago, Taylor was pulled over by Dallas police at 10 p.m. in Oak Cliff.

Video of the encounter shows Officer Ricardo Salas approach the driver’s side while Officer Jesse Aquino approaches the passenger side.

Salas speaks first, but he can't be heard on the video because the officers have turned their microphones off.

“He’s sticking his nose inside the car and kind of looking, and he’s asking where the drugs are, specifically where the drugs are,” said Taylor. “I told him, ‘I don’t have any drugs.’ I didn’t know what he was talking about. It was almost as if it was a joke of some sort.”

But this was no joke.

“After I gave him my license, he asked me what do I do, and I told him, ‘I’m a truck driver and it’s here listed on my CHL,’” said Taylor. “And that’s when he looked at me. He was just like, ‘Where the drugs?’”

That’s when Taylor gave Salas his concealed handgun license and when he says Aquino piped up.

“‘Well, reach for it, M.F. Reach for it M.F.,’” said Taylor. “I’m like, ‘Reach for what?’ This is only after I gave him my license and he knew that I had a weapon in my car, in my vehicle, so with the ‘Reach for it, M.F.,’ he was provoking me.”

Other officers began arriving and Salas asks Taylor to step out of the vehicle. He does and is taken to the front of the squad car, where Aquino asks to search his vehicle.

 “I refused to allow him to search and he was saying things like, ‘Well, I'll just take you to jail so I can search your car anyway,’” said Taylor.

That’s what happened. Taylor’s car was torn apart on the side of the road while he goes to jail for the charge of unlawfully carrying a weapon.

“[I had] never been to jail,” said Taylor. “Horrible experience. Never forget it. I will never forget it.”

Or the rough ride to jail.

“These guys were running red lights,” said Taylor. “They were flying…right. A rough ride, exactly. They were pretty much acting, as I stated in my report, just two wild fraternity kids.”

The internal affairs investigation sustained allegations of false arrest, false imprisonment, falsifying police reports, failing to wear microphones in violation of department policy and driving at excessive speed while transporting to jail.

“My client is a good man,” said attorney Anthony Farmer. “He’s a hardworking man, he’s a truck driver. No criminal history. Never been in trouble with the law, and this unfortunate incident happened to him and we won’t stand for it. We want justice in this case. We want justice.”

Police said Taylor was initially pulled over for running a stop sign.

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