African American Amputee Assaulted and Mocked by Cops in Nebraska

Police forced the man out of his car at gunpoint and assaulted him, he alleges in court.

Leroy Duffie sued the City of Lincoln, Nebraska, in Lancaster County Court claiming that police handcuffed and beat him and left him lying on the street for half an hour before finally removing his handcuffs and allowing him to crawl under the van to retrieve his prosthetic legs, Courthouse News reported.

Duffie claims the police pulled him over for no reason, and then began yelling and pointing their revolvers at him. They also searched his car without a warrant despite the fact that Duffie was not engaged in any suspicious behavior or posed no imminent threat to police, he said.

The complaint alleges: “When plaintiff was stopped, he was confronted by LPD officers with their service revolvers drawn and pointed at him and he was immediately ordered to raise his hands and get out of the van. Plaintiff politely responded that he couldn't raise his hands and get out of the van at the same time due to his being a double amputee and needed his hands to help lift his improperly fitted prosthetic legs that were only duct taped to the upper remaining portions of his legs.”

In an attempt to comply with the officers' demands, Duffie tried to get out of the van but his prosthetic leg fell off causing him to tumble and violently strike his head and shoulder. While lying in the middle of the road, police handcuffed him and “forcibly jammed their knees into his back” before ridiculing him. Among other insults, they called him a "cripple crawling around," and laughed as he cried out in pain.

Duffie claims as a result of the mistreatment, he required emergency surgery on his shoulder for a torn rotator cuff.
 He is suing for medical expenses and damages for civil rights violations and pain and suffering. 

Read more at Courthouse News.


Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.