Lawsuit accuses HPD officer of police brutality

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A southeast Houston man claims he was roughed up so bad by a Houston police officer during a traffic stop that he has permanent damage to his face. The stop happened two years ago, but he filed a lawsuit earlier this month.

In the 32-page lawsuit, Larry Moore alleges after his passenger ran away from the traffic stop, the officer beat HIM up.

Moore says he threw him to the ground, punched him while handcuffed, and stepped on his head. He's suing HPD, the city of Houston, and the officer --- who we're not identifying because he's not under investigation.

That traffic stopped happened near the Fiesta on Mykawa in July 2015. According to the police account, officers saw Moore run a red light, turned to follow him, and then noticed a brake light out.

"He told me my tail light was out on my vehicle," Moore says. "The other person that was with me just took off running."

That's when Moore says one officer ordered him to the ground and cuffed him.

"He like picked me back up halfway and he turned me around real quick and just makes punching motions and I hit the side of my face on the concrete. I blacked out."

Moore tells us when he came to, the officer jumped on him, punched him in the head, and then put his boot on his head. He says instead of calling an ambulance, he made him show other officers what he'd done to his face.

"I thought they were gonna be like take him to the hospital. But no...they were laughing," he claims.

"According to Mr. Moore's statements, this officer does not belong on the streets," says his attorney Andre Evans. "He has no justification for the force he used against Mr. Moore. And I don't think anybody who would inflict such harm or injury on just a citizen should be patrolling the streets."

Andre Evans says the incident left Moore with a blood clot on the side of his face, and other long-term health issues.

He was charged with possession of marijuana three days after the incident. Charging documents say police smelled marijuana coming from the car during the stop. Whey the officers searched, they found two pounds of weed inside a trash bag.

Moore pled guilty to that possession charge. His attorney says the use of force happened before he any charges were filed, and that nothing justifies it.

"We attempted to appeal to the better nature of the HPD but we weren't able to. So unfortunately we were left with no other choice but to file a lawsuit and to have the public, a jury of their peers determine the fact of this case," Evans says.

"He filed the lawsuit right at the last deadline before the statute of limitations ran out. And he never even filed a formal complaint with the department," says Joe Gamaldi with the Houston Police Officers' Union.

Gamaldi says HPD can adopt or initiate a complaint, but HPD tells Eyewitness News that has not happened. Neither the department or the city would comment on the lawsuit, which is standard for pending lititgation.

However, Gamaldi says it's frivolous, and that this is a case of someone trying to gain notoriety and money based on being arrested.

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