A six person federal jury found for the plaintiff in a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 excessive force case on January 29, 2013.
The plaintiff, Gwendolyn Evans, claimed that San Antonio, Texas police officers Felipe Ramos and James Schneider violated her civil rights on December 10, 2009. According to her lawsuit, Evans, a 50-year-old certified nurses' assistant, was on her way home from work when she was stopped by officers Ramos and Schneider at a convenience store. The officers ordered her out of her car, which was still in drive. Before she could put the car in park, they tried to pull her out of the window, even though she was wearing her seatbelt. Ultimately, the officers unlocked the door and yanked Evans from the car, which drove itself away.
Evans claimed that the officers put her facedown on the pavement, kneed her in the back, twisted her arm, pulled her hair, and slammed her face into the ground. The officers then called Evans a "bitch" and a "ho" and advised her to "take the drugs out of her vagina."
At trial, Evans claimed neck, back, and shoulder sprains, a swollen lip, facial contusions, right arm pain, and a pinched nerve in her back. Her attorneys, Susan L. Watson and Sita L. Stone of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid Inc., argued for compensatory damages as well as punitive damages due to the malice demonstrated by Ramos and Schneider.
After four hours of deliberation, the jury found for Evans, awarding her $200 in compensatory damages and $6,500 in punitive damages. The jury found excessive force on the part of Ramos, but not Schneider. Evans is seeking a further judgment for attorney’s fees and costs.
See: Evans v. Ramos & Schneider, USDC WD TX, San Antonio Division, Case No. 5:11-cv-01055-HLH.
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