Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed in Federal Court Against 3 Texas Cops By Family of Jamaal Valentine
Federal District Judge Kenneth Hoyt of the United States District Court of the Southern District of Texas, Galveston Division, is presiding over a new lawsuit, just filed in the Galveston federal court as Case No. 3:11-cv-00229, by the loved ones of Jamaal Valentine (Angela Butler, Joslynn Terrell, and Crystal Truitt) for justice in the death of Mr. Valentine after he was beaten by three La Marque, Texas, police officers.
These three plaintiffs are arguing that while Jamaal Valentine was suffering from a heart attack, he tried to get medical help — only to face these three cops who not only beat him, but used a Tazer (stun gun made by Taser International Inc.) on the man.
Witnesses will testify that Mr. Valentine never tried to resist these police officers. Evidence will show that he died from their injuries.
The federal court of Judge Kenneth Hoyt, not a Texas courtroom, will be the place where the three plaintiffs will face off against not only these three police officers – Richard Garcia, Forest Gandy and Mike Keleman – but the former chief of police for La Marque, Richard Price, and the City of La Marque itself. There are five (5) defendants in the case.
A Nightmare of Police Gone Wrong
Within court documents, media reports reveal that Mr. Valentine was home when he began to have chest pains on May 16, 2009. He was there, alone, and feeling bad.
Mr. Valentine went outside. Things got worse, and he began to fear he was having a heart attack. So, Mr. Valentine flagged down the car driving by – and they stopped to help him.
It was a man named Keith Pope who was the Good Samaritan that evening.
Mr. Pope called 911.
Mr. Pope sat there with Mr. Valentine while they waited for EMS to show up.
Here’s where it gets very bizarre. According to the plaintiffs’ documents the 3 cops showed up (Garcia, Gandy and Keleman), pulled their guns, and told Valentine to put his hands behind his back. The suit alleges that they then beat this man with their fists and a flashlight, and they also used the stun gun on him. During this assault, Mr. Valentine was pleading with them.
Imagine the terror Jamaal Valentine must have felt.
About 30 minutes after the 911 call, EMS arrived. For some reason, according to the pleading, 20 more minutes passed before they actually helped Mr. Valentine.
It’s been over an hour now that Mr. Valentine has been having chest pain, having trouble.
At some point, EMS techs did load the injured man into their emergency vehicle and hit the road for Houston; however, the pleadings allege that for some reason the vehicle was re-routed to Texas City’s Mainland Medical Center in Texas City. At MMC, Mr. Valentine went into full cardiac arrest and died shortly after he got there.
Jamaal Valentine’s loved ones are asking for wrongful death, exemplary and survival damages in addition to attorney’s fees as allowed to them under Texas law.