No one would ever think that dropping a cigarette would result being brutally assaulted and tortured by a police officer. But that’s exactly what happened a Southern California man, who was beaten and had his genitals burned by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy.
Daniel Johnson, 26, is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley. He has no criminal history whatsoever. But his squeaky-clean past didn’t prevent police from torturing him over nothing more than a cigarette butt.
Johnson repeatedly screamed “stop, please!” and “I’m not resisting! I’m not resisting!”
He yelled this over and over as the deputy held him down, repeatedly electrocuting his genitals with a taser in front of his family and neighbors.
They all heard his cries. They all witnessed the brutality. But still nothing has happened to the offending officer.
Johnson says that after several discharges of the high voltage taser, he literally smelled the flesh “cooking” off of his genitals.
He later found that he had in fact sustained multiple burns to the genital region, as a result of this literal torture.
Now, Johnson has filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department over the assault.
If you’re wondering how this all started, and if Johnson might have been somehow to blame for the brutality he suffered, here is the back story…
Johnson was at his mother’s Altadena home, cooking dinner back in December 26, 2012. That’s when a man knocked on the door to inform Johnson that his father was being ticketed for putting out a cigarette on the ground
Johnson’s father was a 58-year-old disabled man. He may or may not have intended to drop the cigarette, but Johnson explains that the man walks with a cane and often drops things because of severe, medically documented nerve damage in his hands.
Los Angeles “Deputy Abdulfattah,” is named in the complaint as the officer giving a $1,000 ticket and community service for littering. But Johnson tried to explain to the officer that there was a medical condition with his father, and the littering was likely accidental.
Abdulfattah told Johnson, “I can write you a ticket too if you want,” the deputy said.
“I asked if it would be possible for me to just pick it up,” Johnson said. “We don’t have $1,000 to pay that ticket,” he said, trying to plead with the deputy.
As Johnson began to walk away to inform his mother of what was happening, another deputy, named in the complaint as “Deputy Russell,” grabbed Johnson from behind slamming him against the patrol car and into a concrete post.
Johnson’s parents shouted: “leave him alone! He hasn’t done anything wrong.”
Deputy Russell then put Johnson in a “full nelson hold” wrapping his arms under Johnson’s armpits with his hands behind Johnson’s head. That’s when deputy Abdulfattah began punching Johnson’s father in the face. Then Abdulfattah turned to the restrained Johnson, and used a Taser on his genitals over and over.
“He was right above me as he Tased me,” Johnson explained. “There’s no mistake that he was trying to Tase me in my genitalia.”
Johnson’s mother says that the deputy stared at her throughout the whole ordeal, like he was trying to show her that he was able to do anything he wanted to her son.
“He’s looking directly at me every time he pulls that trigger, and at one point my son says, ‘Mom, I’m OK,” Johnson’s mother, Rose Gonzales said. “So at that point, I realize this guy is doing this because I am reacting.”
After being tortured in front of his family by the officers, Johnson was arrested for battery on a police officer. Those charges were never filed.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department says that the officer in question is “the best deputy in the department.”
Help get the word out. Contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at (800) 698-8255, a number assigned specifically for complaints about the Department’s deputies. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and demand that these deputies be fired and brought up on charges.
(Article by M. David)