A graphic dash camera video shows a police officer running over a shirtless Black man with his patrol truck as he runs across a field.
The victim in the video, which has prompted widespread outrage across the internet, is Lionel Womack, a 35-year-old former police detective from Kansas City, Kansas. On Thursday, Womack filed an excessive force lawsuit against Kiowa County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Rodriguez, who ran him over with his patrol truck on Aug. 15, the Associated Press reports.
Womack said in a statement that he was neither speeding nor intoxicated when he was pulled over. His license, insurance, and registration were all up to date, and he claimed to have cooperated with the officer who pulled him over.
“When the first officer turned his lights on, I pulled over and complied,” Womack said. “But when three additional vehicles pulled up quickly and started to surround my car, I freaked out. That’s when I took off. … This was out in the country, late at night, and it was dark. So I ran for my life.”
Womack, who left the police department in early August to launch a security business, was driving home from a business trip in California when an officer pulled him over for an “alleged traffic violation," according to the lawsuit filed by attorney Michael Kuckelman. After fleeing the scene in his car and reaching a dirt road, Womack exited the vehicle and ran across a nearby field. He was unarmed.
The dash camera video shows Rodriguez pursuing Womack in his patrol truck. Rodriguez hits Womack from behind, knocking him to the ground, and drives over him as another officer yells, “Oh, shit!” Rodriguez then opens the door and yells at Womack to “stay down.”
Womack, laying in a crumpled heap under the car, shows no signs of getting up.
Womack says he sustained injuries to his back, pelvis, thigh, right knee, ankle, and foot as a result of Rodriguez running him over.
Kuckelman allegedly urged Kiowa County Sheriff Chris Tedder to fire Rodriguez, but he refused. (Neither Kuckelman nor Tedder immediately responded to the Daily Dot’s requests for comment.)
Womack remains behind bars “on felony charges of attempting to elude a law enforcement officer by engaging in reckless driving and interference with a law enforcement officer," per the Associated Press. He also received several misdemeanor traffic citations.
Twitter user @davenewworld_2 shared the dash camera footage on Friday morning, calling the incident “attempted murder” and prompting outrage among users.
“Can’t wait to hear how they ‘justify’ this one,” @coffeecarrie wrote, to which @davenewworld_2 responded, “Police brutality is a hobby in Kansas.”
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H/T Associated Press