Bryan & Terrill Obtain Jury Verdict in Excessive Force Case

A federal jury returned a verdict on Thursday afternoon finding that Muskogee Police Officer Troy Buller violated the constitutional rights of Muskogee resident Darryle Chatman.  The jury concluded that officer Buller performed an unlawful investigatory detention when he stopped Mr. Chatman for walking across a street, that he lacked probable cause to arrest Mr. Chatman for a jaywalking offense, and that Buller used unlawful excessive force in making the arrest.  The jury awarded Mr. Chatman $30,000.00 for injures and damages suffered as a result.

The lawsuit resulted from the events of April 11, 2010 when Buller spotted Chatman crossing a street in Muskogee.  Buller drove up on Mr. Chatman and exited his car yelling profanities and threatening him with a taser.  Buller claimed that Chatman was in violation of a Muskogee City Ordinance that concerns walking along the roadway, and that his conduct was reasonable based upon this allegation.  Chatman’s attorneys successfully argued that the ordinance only related to people walking along the roadway, and therefore did not apply to Mr. Chatman, who was walking across the street.  The interaction between Chatman and Buller was captured on Buller’s dash camera which allowed the jury to observe the incident.

If you have questions about excessive force, unlawful investigatory stops, or official police misconduct, contact our local and top-rated personal injury lawyers.

*Disclaimer:  Mr. Steven Terrill and Mr. J. Spencer Bryan represented Mr. Chatman.