DeShawn Franklin was asleep when cops stormed into his bedroom and attacked him.
According to family members, officers didn’t have a warrant and didn’t ask permission before barging into the home and shocking, punching, then dragging 18-year-old Franklin out of bed.
Franklin, who was then handcuffed and placed in a police car, told the Washington Post that he was “asleep” and “didn’t even know what was going on.”
According to the Post, officers were looking for Franklin’s older brother:
The incident happened about 2:30 a.m. on July 7, 2012, when Franklin and his parents were sleeping. Officers Eric Mentz, Aaron Knepper and Michael Stuk, of the South Bend Police Department, were looking for Dan Jones, Franklin’s older brother, after receiving a domestic violence call. The officers received information that Jones may have gone to his parents’ house, according to an internal affairs investigation report by the police department.
Officers later apologized and were disciplined with written reprimands.
Innocent Black Man Only Awarded $18 After Being Shocked and Punched by Police
The 2012 incident led to a lawsuit brought by the Indiana family against police.
The jury agreed that the Franklin home was wrongfully entered without a warrant by three white officers, violating the family’s rights. The jury decided, however, that the family’s rights were basically worthless.
Although the jury sided with the Franklin family, the dollar amount awarded to them was a slap in the face. Each of the defendants in the lawsuit was only ordered to pay $1 each, totaling $18.
Rev. Mario Sims told the Post that this sends a clear signal to black people that their rights are only worth $1.
“Essentially even though the jury found their rights were violated, the jury didn’t value those rights,” said Sims. “They didn’t think this poor black family warranted any type of substantial monetary reward.”
Since there were no “medical bills, lost wages, property damage, post-traumatic stress, psychological treatment”, the jury couldn’t find evidence to warrant the more than $1 million dollars in damages requested by the family, the Post reported.
Now four years later, Franklin, who has no criminal record, lives in fear of police, says the family.