92 Year Old Retired Pastor Files Lawsuit, Claims Police Brutalit - myfoxcarolinas.com

92 Year Old Retired Pastor Files Lawsuit, Claims Police Brutality

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A retired pastor is suing the Salisbury Police Department claiming police brutality during an encounter with officers last April. According to the lawsuit, police officer Christopher Hamm used excessive force against 92 year old J.W. Loy, Jr., breaking two of his bones.

Loy’s daughter, Shari Keller, got a call from staff at the assisted living facility where her father was living last April.

She was told her father was running fever and he likely needed to be evaluated by a doctor.

“He (Loy) just wasn’t himself," she said.

Keller gave the approval for EMS to transport her dad to the hospital, but because Loy was disoriented and agitated, Shari was told police also had to respond. Shari wasn’t able to get to the assisted living facility, so her husband, Rex Keller, volunteered to go and try to help.

“Then after he (Rex) got home, he said that officer Hamm had slammed my daddy on the ground," Keller said. "And he heard his bones breaking.”

Rex Keller says he couldn’t believe the way one officer treated his father-in-law. 

“He (the officer) got hold of his left arm and the back of his neck and just slammed him down on the floor and put his knee in his back," he said. "And at that time, me and the nurses’ aids could hear bones cracking.”

The attorney for the Salisbury Police Department says Loy raised his cane over his head. Rex Keller disputes that. The lawyer also says Loy stepped toward the officer, and then police tried to take control of the situation.

Scott MacLatchie, the police department’s attorney says he has 30 days to respond to the lawsuit.

“If the question is was the officer’s method of trying to get control of him and get him to a place where he could be handcuffed and the cane removed from his hand, then that use of force was reasonable.”

Shari Keller says her father decided to file a lawsuit not just because of the broken bones her dad suffered, but because he wants to bring attention to what the family believes are problems with police training and proper use of force.

“Seeing my daddy like that and knowing why he was like that, is one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to do," she said.

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