IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
EARL RAY GAY §
V. § CIVIL ACTION NO. ________________
CITY OF WAXAHACHIE, TEXAS §
CITY OF WAXAHACHIE POLICE §
DEPARTMENT, and LIEUTENANT §
DAMON JAMES and GEORGE §
ORIGINAL COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND
TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE OF SAID COURT:
NOW COMES, EARL RAY GAY, hereinafter called Plaintiff, complaining of and
about CITY OF WAXAHACHIE, WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT, DAMON
JAMES, individually and in his supervisory capacity, GEORGE PAPPAS, individually,
collectively hereinafter called Defendants, and for cause of action shows unto the Court
A. PARTIES AND SERVICE
1. Plaintiff, EARL RAY GAY, is a citizen of the United States and the State of Texas
and resides in Ellis County, Texas.
2. Defendant, the CITY OF WAXAHACHIE, may be served with citation by serving
Paul Stevens, the City manager at Waxahachie City Hall, 401 S. Rogers Street, Waxahachie,
3. Defendant WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT, may be served at the
WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT by service upon the Chief of Police, Chuck
Edge, at 216 North College, Waxahachie, TX 75165.
4. Defendant DAMON JAMES is an individual, who can be served at the
WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT AT 216 North College, Waxahachie, TX
5. Defendant GEORGE PAPPAS is an individual, who can be served at the
WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT AT 216 North College, Waxahachie, TX
B. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
6. The action arises under Title 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983 and 1988 in a Civil Action for
Deprivation of Rights, as hereinafter more fully appears, as well as a Declaratory
Judgment that the policies and procedures complained of within the WAXACHACHIE
POLICE DEPARTMENT, as written and as applied, violate the protections afforded all
American Citizens under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution against
unreasonable search and seizure, wrongful arrest and excessive force; violate the
protections under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution against wrongful arrest,
denial of medical treatment, deprivation of due process and failure to follow proper
procedures that a reasonable officer would have followed under same or similar
circumstances and which, a reasonable officer would have known to be a violation which
caused the injuries to the Plaintiff.
7. Jurisdiction is proper in this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343. This
Court also has supplemental jurisdiction over state law claims discussed below under 28
U.S.C. §§ 1367 (a), because they arise out of the same case or controversy.
C. NATURE OF CAUSE
8. This is an action alleging police misconduct, excessive force, and deprivation of
rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution of the United States of
America and laws under Title 42 U.S. C. section 1983, et. Seq. Current policies and
procedures of the WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT are a threat and danger to the
Civil Rights of the citizens of Waxahachie, Texas, and as such are preempted, are
overbroad, vague and ambiguous and are unconstitutional under the United States
Constitution, as well as certain rules applied by the CITY OF WAXAHACHIE POLICE
DEPARTMENT, and certain actions taken by DAMON JAMES and GEORGE PAPPAS,
officers of the WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT.
9. Said actions were under the application of customs or polices established and
endorsed by the WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT and the CITY OF
WAXAHACHIE which are unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious, enacted in bad faith,
and said policies were the moving force behind the violation that led to the injuries to the
Plaintiff. These actions were a clear abuse of municipal discretion and unconstitutional
infringements on Plaintiffs’ Due Process guarantee, liberty interests, the protections
afforded all citizens under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States
Constitution and are therefore void.
10. Defendants, CITY OF WAXAHACHIE, the WAXAHACHIE POLICE
DEPARTMENT, DAMON JAMES and GEORGE PAPPAS, have acted in bad faith
pursuant to official polices and customs, which the CITY OF WAXAHACHIE POLCIE
DEPARTMENT has endorsed and the Plaintiff has suffered injury due to the application
of these polices or customs which have applied under color of law at all times.
11. At all times referred to herein, DAMON JAMES and GEORGE PAPPAS were
police officers employed by the CITY OF WAXAHACHIE, Texas and the Defendant
WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT and were at all times acting under the color
of laws, statutes, ordinances, regulations, polices, customs and usages of the State of
Texas and the City of Waxahachie, Texas within the scope and practice of their
12. On or about July 16, 2010, officers responded to a call whereby Mr. Gay was
arrested and transported to WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT for book-in.
13. While in book-in, Mr. Gay was handcuffed to a bench. Two officers observed
Mr. Gay alleged having something in his mouth. The two officers began to physically
assault Mr. Gay. Thereafter, two more officers joined the assault and Mr. Gay was taken
to the ground with physical force while he was handcuffed to the bench.
14. At no time was Mr. Gay fighting or resisting arrest in any way, as he had already
been handcuffed to a bench.
15. Defendant GEORGE PAPPAS entered the room and stood on Mr. Gay’s
abdomen and proceeded to jump up and down, thrusting his foot into Mr. Gay’s
16. Defendant DAMON JAMES, the superior officer in charge, entered the book-in
room and proceeded to drive stun Mr. Gay with the Taser. Then again and again
Defendant DAMON JAMES drive stuns Mr. Gay with the Taser.
17. After three drive stuns by Defendant DAMON JAMES, GEORGE PAPPAS
administers a fourth drive stun on Mr. Gay.
18. At no time during the assault was Mr. Gay resisting arrest or fighting, and
during this time Mr. Gay was surrounded and controlled by five officers prior to
Defendant DAMON JAMES’ arrival.
19. After an hour and thirteen minutes Mr. Gay was uncuffed and assisted to the
20. At no time during or after this seventy six minute assault was Mr. Gay’s medical
condition assessed. At no time during this incident was any medical personal called or
21. Mr. Gay was then transported to Ellis County Detention Center. Upon Mr. Gay’s
arrival at the Ellis County Detention Center he was unable to be admitted due to the
severity of his injuries that resulted from the assault. Mr. Gay was then transported to
Baylor-Waxahachie where he was admitted to the ICU.
22. Defendant DAMON JAMES and GEORGE PAPPAS, both officers with the
WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT filed false reports and reports that were
incomplete, omitting key details of the events, specifically within the required Use of
23. At all times during the events described above, the individual Defendants were
engaged in a joint venture with other Waxahachie police officers in performing the
various actions described and these persons lent their physical presence and/or support
and the authority of their office to each other during said events.
24. The WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT on previous incidents has
conducted internal investigations in which they determined that their officers had not
acted within the policies and procedures of the WAXAHACHIE POLICE
DEPARTMENT regarding the use of less than lethal force, and yet their policies and
procedures were not changed.
25. The WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT, thereby, WAXAHACHIE
POLICE DEPARTMENT by their lack of action therefore was adopting and approving
the actions of the officers in using their Tasers on Mr. Gay.
COUNT 1: UNLAWFUL SEACH AND SEIZURE
26. Defendants, CITY OF WAXAHACHIE, WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT,
DAMON JAMES and GEORGE PAPPAS did willfully detain Plaintiff.
27. Defendant DAMON JAMES and GEORGE PAPPAS, of the WAXAHACHIE
POLICE DEPARTMENT, then used Taser weapons on Mr. Gay, in violation of his 14th
Amendment protections against wrongful arrests, denial of due process and denial of
medical treatment all of which a reasonable officer would have known to be violations of
the Plaintiff’s rights.
28. Plaintiff suffered damages for which Plaintiff herein sues.
COUNT 2: EXCESSIVE FORCE
29. Officers of the WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT used excessive force in
violation of the protections afforded against wrongful arrest, excessive force and denial of
due process under the 4th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution by detaining
EARL RAY GAY by using less than lethal force of electrical shock from a weapon
commonly referred to and sold as a “Taser”.
30. Said weapon is capable of subjecting, and did subject Mr. Gay to an electrical shock
of around 50000 volts.
31. Officers of the WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT had no legitimate reason
or justification for using these weapons on Mr. Gay and a reasonable officer would have
known that the excessive force was a violation of Plaintiff’s constitutionally protected
COUNT 3: RACE AND COLOR DISCRIMINATION
32. Defendants CITY OF WAXAHACHIE, WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT,
DAMON JAMES and GEORGE PAPPAS, intentionally engaged in unlawful
discriminatory practices involving the use of force against the Plaintiff because of his race
and color due to a persistent and widespread custom of policy promulgated within the
Police Department with deliberate indifference and which encourages disparate treatment
against minorities with the CITY OF WAXAHACHIE.
33. The unlawful practice of Defendants, CITY OF WAXAHACHIE, WAXAHACHIE
POLICE DEPARTMENT, DAMON JAMES and GEORGE PAPPAS specifically the level
and type of force used against the Plaintiff was endorsed by the CITY OF WAXAHACHIE
POLICE DEPARTMENT as evidenced by the findings from the police department.
34. These actions by Defendants had an adverse impact on not only the Plaintiff
because of his race and color, but other members of the African American community in
Waxahachie, Texas; and was the moving force behind the violations of the Plaintiff’s rights
that led to his injuries.
35. Defendants, CITY OF WAXAHACHIE, WAXAHACHIE POLICE DEPARTMENT,
DAMON JAMES, and GEORGE PAPPAS, have discriminated against the Plaintiff in
connection with the treatment he received and alleges that defendants discriminated
against Plaintiff on the basis of race and color with malice or with reckless indifference to
the state and federally protected rights of Plaintiff.
COUNT 4: INTENTIONAL INFLICTION OF EMOTIONAL DISTRESS
36. Defendants, CITY OF WAXAHACHIE, WAXAHACHIE POLICE, DAMON
JAMES and GEORGE PAPPAS intentionally used a Taser weapon on Plaintiff while he
was handcuffed to the bench.
37. Defendant’s conduct was extreme and outrageous and proximately caused Plaintiff
severed emotional distress.
38. Plaintiff suffered damages for which Plaintiff herein sues.
COUNT 5: NEGLIGENCE-INADEQUATE TRAINING OR HIRING
39. Defendants, CITY OF WAXAHACHIE, and the WAXAHACHIE POLICE
DEPARTMENT are also liable under 42 U.S.C. 1983 because (1) the training or hiring
procedures of the policymaker were inadequate, (2) the policymaker was deliberately
indifferent in adopting the hiring or training policies, (3) the inadequate hiring or training
policy directly caused injury to EARL RAY GAY, and will most likely cause future injury
to other citizens suffering from similar medical conditions as Mr. Gay. These allegations
are likely to have further evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further
investigation and discovery.
40. Plaintiff sustained the following damages as a result of the actions and/or
omissions of Defendant described hereinabove:
a. All reasonable and necessary Attorney’s Fees incurred by or on behalf of the
b. All reasonable and necessary costs incurred in pursuit of this suit;
c. Emotional pain;
d. Expert fees as the Court deems appropriate;
f. Loss of enjoyment of life;
g. Mental anguish in the past;
h. Mental anguish in the future;
i. Reasonable medical care and expenses in the past;
j. Reasonable and necessary medical care and expenses which will in all
reasonable probability be incurred in the future;
l. Physical Discomfort;
m. Physical Injury;
n. Physical pain and suffering in the past; and
o. Physical pain and suffering in the future
41. Plaintiff would further show that the acts and omissions of Defendants complained
herein were committed with malice or reckless indifference to the protected rights of the
42. A reasonable officer would have known that the treatment of the Plaintiff would be
a violation of his constitutionally protected rights. As such, exemplary damages are
applicable. In order to punish said Defendants for engaging in further unlawful acts in
violation of a Constitutional protected right of the Plaintiff and other citizens of the City of
Waxahachie and to deter such actions and/or omissions in the future.
43. Plaintiff seeks the following specific relief which arises out of the actions and/or
omissions of Defendants described hereinabove:
a. Prohibit by injunction the Defendants from engaging in the future unlawful
use of force against citizens with Taser weapons until such time that additional
training and education for the officers can be completed.
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Plaintiff prays that the Defendants be
duly cited in terms of law to appear and answer herein and that upon final hearing hereof,
Plaintiffs recover judgment against the Defendants for Plaintiffs damages as herein above
set out with pre-judgment and post-judgment interest at the legal rate; costs of Court and
for such other and further relief to which Plaintiff may be entitled under equity and in
_/s/Hunt E. Bonneau
State Bar Number: 00795257
1038 Elm Street
Carrollton, TX 75006
Telephone: (972) 242.6500
Facsimile: (972) 245.0200
ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF
PLAINTIFF HEREBY DEMANDS TRIAL BY JURY