Officers square off with Marvin Driver

February 6, 2009 6:12:25 PM PST
We're now hearing from a group of Houston police officers accused then cleared of wrongdoing in the Marvin Driver case. Driver claimed he was beaten by the officers, but an internal investigation proved otherwise. He and a local community activist now face a lawsuit.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Officers said they may have been cleared, but in the process they suffered a lot of anguish and lost money. They want the people responsible to be held accountable in a court of law.

As one of three officers involved in the lawsuit, Gilberto Cruz spoke out against Driver and community activist, Quanell X. Cruz said he and the other two officers did nothing wrong when they arrested Driver last November.

"We did not physically abuse Mr. Driver in any way. The accusations made by Mr. Driver and Quanell X were completely and utterly false," said Cruz.

Cruz's attorney said that both Driver and Quanell X made false accusations against the officers in the days following Driver's arrest including that Driver was beaten and forced to swallow a substance.

Officers Cruz, Matthew Marin and Bacilio Guzman were ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing. Their lawyer said that they want justice.

"If you lie and if you make false allegations against hard-working, innocent police officers that harms their lives, that damages their reputations, we will come after you," said Aaron Suder.

Quanell X and his attorney, Randall Kallinen, gathered outside the police officer's union to denounce the lawsuit.

"This is not a lawsuit. This is an accusation. That's all it is," said Kallinen.

Quanell X maintained that he said nothing inflammatory, but he was only relaying what family members told him about Driver's condition. He called the lawsuit retaliation by police officers.

"I'm not surprised at what they're doing, by no stretch of the imagination. They've always done this. The Houston Police Department, instead of doing the right thing, often in my opinion when it comes to me and what I'm doing and trying to help, they'll do the wrong thing," said Quanell X.

Both sides are maintaining that they are prepared for a fight in court. In the meantime, the District Attorney's office told us that a criminal investigation into the Marvin Driver case is ongoing. The case file is expected to be presented to the grand jury at a later date.

Our calls to Driver's attorney were unreturned.

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