Updated: Thursday, 09 Oct 2008, 10:46 AM CDT
Published : Tuesday, 22 Jul 2008, 1:46 PM CDT
AUSTIN, TEXAS (KXAN) -- The city of Austin Thursday settled a lawsuit against a police officer who beat a man at a bus stop in 2006. The city will pay the family of Joseph Cruz $55,000.
Officer Gary Griffin was fired after he struck Cruz repeatedly with his baton and fist at a bus stop on East 7th Street in July, 2006.
Video obtained by KXAN using the Texas Public Information Act shows Griffin used a baton, his knee and hands to strike Joseph Cruz. Griffin was responding to a medical call at that bus stop and found Cruz sleeping there.
Griffin hit Cruz in the face four times, breaking his nose.
Griffin was fired for using excessive force but a grand jury cleared him of any criminal wrongdoing. He got his job back in December, 2007.
"It sure does send a message that you can't just go out as a police officer and brutalize somebody and get away with it," said Wayne Krause, the Legal Director for the Texas Civil Rights Project. Krause filed the civil lawsuit in June 2007 on behalf of the family.
"We learned some very valuable lessons in this," said city council member Mike Martinez. "Hopefully we've put measures in place to prevent it from happening again."