Lisa Hendrick, guardian for Larry J. Hendrick, 42, filed the lawsuit in Circuit Court against the city, Police Chief Dennis Mook, and officers C.M. Hall and M.A. Johnson. Hendrick suffered a moderate brain injury as a result of the injuries he suffered on May 27, 2000.
Hendrick’s attorney, Stephen M. Smith of Hampton, said that Hendrick was at a Memorial Day party, drinking beer with friends and got into an argument with his girlfriend. Smith said that Hendrick was asked to leave and was in the process of leaving the party when he fell and passed out. Paramedics were notified, but Hendrick had come to by the time the paramedics arrived and required no assistance other than a check of his vital signs.Police apparently also were called and witnesses said that Hendrick was then handcuffed.
Witnesses told police that they saw officers throw Hendrick against the pavement, while handcuffed, and that he struck his face on the concrete.
The police are supposed “to protect and serve,” Smith said. “It is an outrage that the people of Newport News need protection from attacks by rogue police officers.”
Smith, who represents many police officers throughout the commonwealth, said that in no way should this be considered an adverse reflection on the good police officers.
The lawsuit contended that Hendrick’s constitutional and civil rights were violated in the attack and that the police officers used excessive force and wrongfully detained Hendrick.
It also alleged that the police department was aware of problems with officers using excessive force and did not correct them.
The case was ultimately settled for $1,250,000.00.