Deters's Office: Norwood Police suit is conflict of interest - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Norwood police suit handed over to special prosecutor


Claude Henderson is suing for police brutality over an incident caught on Norwood Police Department's surveillance video.

The lawsuit involves Robert 'Bobby' Ward, the same officer who was forced to resign after pleading no contest to throwing Denise Diallo against a wall in a holding cell inside the Norwood police station. Also included in Henderson's lawsuit are Sgt. Tim Buchanan, Chief William Kramer, John Does and the City of Norwood.

Ward was charged and convicted of misdemeanor assault. He was sentenced to 60 days of house arrest in November and was placed on one year probation.

On Tuesday, Prosecutor Joe Deters' office said it plans to turn Henderson's case over to a special prosecutor for review to see if criminal charges should be filed. Deter's office cannot prosecute the case because of a conflict of interest due to frequently working with the Norwood Police Department.

In November of 2011, Claude Henderson complained that someone at the police station stole $10 out of his wallet while being questioned about a minor misdemeanor incident. A confrontation then ensued, caught on video.

In the official police report, it says Henderson became violent towards a sergeant in the lobby, cursed at the officer and was told he was under arrest. It says he did not comply and therefore, had to be restrained by officers. However, Henderson disagrees with that account.

Questions have been raised as to whether or not the incident should be considered a felony. Deter's office defined felony as 'the intent to cause serious bodily harm'.

However, another legal expert who didn't want to be identified said, "Courts have recognized that if injuries to the victim are serious enough to cause him or her to seek medical treatment it can be Felonious Assault."

Both Norwood's Police Chief and Law Director refused to comment on the Henderson case because the lawsuit is ongoing.

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly