Man files lawsuit against Hutto, accuses officer of abusing power

HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) — A man filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the City of Hutto and one of its police officers in relation to an arrest made in 2018. 

The man who filed the lawsuit, Jeremy Rogers, said an arrest last year violated his constitutional rights. He described an officer punching him and using a stun gun against him during an arrest. Rogers faced charges, but a judge ultimately dismissed those charges about a month after they were filed.

The lawsuit stems from an incident that happened on May 31, 2018, outside a home in the 400 block of Paige Bend Street. According to police, they went there to investigate the smell of marijuana and found Rogers outside with a beer. 

According to the initial felony affidavit, the officer on the scene reported that he struck Rogers’ head three times and deployed his taser twice after Rogers allegedly pushed him and resisted arrest. 

The injuries sustained from that encounter can be seen in Rogers’ mugshots.

Prosecutors later asked to dismiss the charges of public intoxication, resisting arrest and assault of a public servant. In regard to the latter felony charge, a court filing by an assistant district attorney requested that it be dismissed “in the interest of justice.”

The federal lawsuit filed Wednesday claims the officer’s body camera will show that the situation unfolded differently than how that officer described it in the initial court documents. 

T. Dean Malone, a Dallas-based constitutional rights lawyer, is now representing Rogers. He wrote in a statement sent out Wednesday, “Mr. Rogers looks forward to presenting the body cam video to a jury, so the jury can determine for itself whether he was treated appropriately. He also looks forward to having a jury hear how he was forced to retain criminal defense counsel, to defend against charges which were ultimately dismissed by prosecutors in the interest of justice.”

The lawsuit further states the officer abused his power and made false, misleading accusations that prompted prosecution. 

Eliska Padilla, the City of Hutto’s public information officer, released the following statement about the lawsuit: 

“At this time, the City has received no notice of a lawsuit. However, the matter in question is the subject of an investigation. The officer involved has been assigned to administrative duty until further notice.”

Shawn Dick, the Williamson County district attorney, told KXAN Wednesday that he asked the Texas Rangers to look into the Rogers case after the charges were dismissed. When he got that agency’s report back, he passed it onto a special prosecutor, Julian Ramirez, who is now working on the case. 

No other information about that investigation is available at this time. 

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