freed, Minneapolis Man, Exonerated, Wrongful Conviction Overturned, Great North Innocence Project

Black Man Files Lawsuit Against Police Officers Who Beat Him After Mistaking Him For Domestic Violence Suspect

Police officers allegedly beat a Black man after they mistook him for a domestic violence suspect. Now, the Dallas man has filed a lawsuit against the city and the police officers involved in the situation.

According to Law & Crime, the lawsuit was filed by Silvester Hayes in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on Oct. 16. It was filed against the city of Dallas and Dallas Police Department officers Walter Paul Guab, Holly Harris, and 10 Does. He alleges that the police officers violated 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and his Fourth and 14th Amendment rights when they pulled him over and tasered him on the morning of Oct. 16, 2021. He was on his way to pick up breakfast for his kids.

Hayes stated that Dallas police officers allegedly stopped him, beat him, and used a stun gun after they thought he was a domestic violence suspect who had a similar name. Even after police officers realized he wasn’t the man they were searching for, they still arrested him. He was charged with resisting arrest and unlawful possession of a weapon and held in jail for several days. The charges were then dismissed more than a year later.

The lawsuit states that Hayes seeks a jury trial, damages, and punitive damages for alleged conduct that “constitutes malice, evil intent, or reckless or callous indifference to Plaintiff Hayes’s federally protected rights.” He is also seeking damages for the resulting emotional distress, physical injury, economic damages, and deprivation of liberty because of the incident where he felt he was racially profiled.

“While driving to get his children’s favorite breakfast meal of French toast and bacon at a restaurant that was located only a few blocks away from his residence, Plaintiff Hayes was racially profiled, followed, and then pulled over by Defendant Officers Harris and Guab,” according to the lawsuit.

The suspect officers were looking for spelled his name with a “y,” while Hayes uses an “i.” Instead of verifying the information on his driver’s license, the officers proceeded to attack and arrest him. After the beating, he was placed in the car, and his ID was checked, and they then realized that they attacked the wrong man. The audio could be heard on bodycam footage, saying, “F**k, we got the wrong guy.”

The complaint says that Dallas police officers Guab and Harris injured Hayes by “(1) kicking, punching, and tasing Plaintiff Hayes, (2) pinning Plaintiff Hayes with their knees on his skull, neck and back; (3) pulling Plaintiff Hayes’ arm out of his shoulder socket.”

The suit cited three counts. The first two counts — excessive force in violation of the 14th Amendment and unlawful arrest in violation of the Fourth Amendment — were filed against officers Guab and Harris. The third one, a Fourth Amendment claim, was filed against the City of Dallas.