Family Suing DeSoto Police For Racial Profiling, Excessive Force

Alan Scaia
February 25, 2020 - 1:34 pm
DeSoto Lawsuit

Credit: Alan Scaia, 1080 KRLD

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DESOTO (1080 KRLD) - A family is suing the City of DeSoto and police over an encounter in August 2018.

Sammie Anderson says she called police in August of 2018 because her two adult sons were arguing. Anderson says she wanted police to act as "mediators."

By the time they arrived, she said the argument had ended, and the scene was quiet.

But Anderson says an officer got out of his car, drew his Taser immediately and stunned one of her sons. Grant Bible, one Anderson's sons, says his brother was stunned and then police ordered everyone to the ground.

"My mom was the best mom you could ever have," he says. "To see her thrown down to the ground, and there's nothing you can do about it. It just makes you feel hopeless."

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and changes to police training.

"For every African American out there, I would like to say we would like to see a change for you," Anderson says.

The civil suit accuses DeSoto police of racial profiling, unlawful detention, unlawful arrest, excessive force and inadequate training.

"If you would do this in a White community, to a White lady and her sons, this would go to a grand jury," says Peter Johnson, a civil rights leader and founder of the Institute for Non-Violence. "I am extremely frustrated."

Johnson and Anderson's lawyer, David Henderson, say 78% of traffic stops in DeSoto involved African Americans, but African Americans make up just 68% of the city's population.

Henderson says one officer, Patrick Krekel, who is named in the lawsuit, is the one who threw Anderson to the ground. Of the six officers who responded, however, Henderson says only one officer's body camera stayed on, and that camera did not record the episode with the stun gun.

"Officers said several times that night to Sammie Anderson and her family, 'Everything's being recorded. Everything's on camera.' Not according to the materials that we've been able to obtain," Henderson says.

The City of DeSoto says it cannot comment on an active lawsuit. Faith Johnson, who was Dallas County district attorney at the time, declined to pursue charges. She said her office found no evidence to justify criminal charges.

The office of current District Attorney John Creuzot says he tried to meet with Anderson and her lawyer on "multiple occasions," but she and her lawyer did not appear at the first meeting. Creuzot's office also says it agreed to meet with Johnson to talk about a potential criminal accusation, but he did not respond.