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Fort Worth officers sued after being accused of violating rights

The defendant accused two officers of slamming him face-first into pavement, injuring his face, without telling him he was under arrest.
Credit: Fort Worth Police Department
Body cam footage of Cesar Salinas being pinned to the ground by Fort Worth police officers.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Two Fort Worth police officers are being sued on multiple counts after their accuser stated they violated his Fourth Amendment rights, violently slamming him to the ground face-first causing multiple injuries.

The plaintiff, Cesar Salinas, is suing Fort Worth officers Steve Loud and Teresa Torres. The charges against the two officers include using excessive and unreasonable force, a Fourth Amendment violation, when they slammed Salinas into the ground when he was not resisting them, and had not been told if he was being detained or for what reason.

Officers first made contact with Salinas the night of Sept. 20, 2020, while they were investigating a complaint from a woman that she was groped by an unknown Hispanic man outside a bar, the suit details.

The suit states the woman never identified Salinas as the person who grabbed her and the charges were later dismissed. 

At no point during the altercation did officers tell Salinas he was under arrest or being detained, the suit details. After handing police his ID card and calling his friend over the phone, Salinas was walked over to a police car without being told why. 

From there, Salinas told officers he would stand there and wait. After asking Loud why he needed to walk to the car, the suit adds, Loud told him he would explain why when they got there, but he still had not been told why police were talking with him. 

While talking on the phone with his friend, Torres reportedly told him "I'm taking over" and tried to grab Salinas' phone without warning or explanation. Body cam footage shows Salinas' arm being pulled back and the phone being pulled from his ear by Torres. 

Without giving Salinas any further commands or just asking him to hand over the phone, Torres swung Salinas to his right and then slammed him into the ground face-first against the pavement, causing him to bleed heavily. 

Salinas was slammed so hard that his hat flew off and a green pocket knife, closed, flew out of his pocked onto the ground, which Torres later falsely reported seeing in his hand even though it had been in his pocket the whole time. Body cam footage shows Salinas had been holding only his cell phone and a pink e-cigarette before being slammed to the ground. 

Salinas suffered multiple injuries from being slammed on the ground, including a cut on his lip, a contusion to his left cheek, a knot above his left eyebrow and swelling on his head, the lawsuit stated. 

The plaintiff, Salinas, is asking for punitive damages due to the officers violating his Constitutional rights

"Plaintiff is entitled to recover all actual damages allowed by law. Plaintiff contends said Defendants’ conduct constitutes malice, evil intent, or reckless or callous indifference to Plaintiff’s legally protected rights. Thus, Plaintiff is entitled to punitive damages against Defendant Torres and Defendant Loud."

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