It’s been over two years since Christopher Shaw was paralyzed by Beaumont Police while in their custody, but his fight for justice is just getting started.
Shaw, 41, has hired renowned national civil rights attorney Ben Crump, to hold the officer, the City of Beaumont and Corrhealth, LLC accountable for their role in breaking Shaw’s neck and neglecting the injuries that left him paralyzed from the chest down while in custody for public intoxication.
Earlier this month, Crump helped Randy Cox settle with the City of New Haven for $45 million after he was paralyzed while being transported handcuffed and without a seat belt in the back of a police van in New Haven, Connecticut. Crump will now set his sights on the City of Beaumont and try to bring justice in a case that has dragged on for years.
Named in Christopher Shaw’s suit Beaumont Police Officer James Thomas Gillen, the City of Beaumont and Corrhealth, LLC.
“The Beaumont Police and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office are prosecuting the man they paralyzed and they’re hiding the truth from the public,” said Crump in a press release. “If this were a bank robbery, a hit and run or even a convenience store hold up, they would have released this video two years ago. The only difference is that, in this case, the suspect is wearing a badge.”
According to the federal lawsuit which was filed in July 2022, Shaw was handcuffed and restrained by deputies at the Jefferson County jail when Officer Gillen “body slammed” him onto the jail’s concrete floor.
He was then left lying on the floor clearly paralyzed while he begged for help from Corrhealth medical personnel at the jail. Those calls for help were ignored, and Shaw was left lying in a pool of urine and feces.
Shaw posed no physical threat to Gillen or any of the officers present but ended up with a broken neck as a result of the attack.
The Beaumont Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff have refused to release video of the attack despite repeated calls from the media and the public.
Local activists in Texas are still demanding justice for Christopher Shaw,
During a press conference on in 2022 attorneys and advocates for Shaw demanded the body camera video of the officer involved be released to the public and asked for the Department of Justice to open a federal investigation.
“Even today, we are asking, demanding that Gov. Abbott demand the release of the video, Bishop William J. Barber told the media. “And any other politicians that care about justice that are running for office should be demanding the release of the video.”
Christopher Shaw’s journey has been a long one.
Shaw was arrested for public intoxication by Beaumont police officer James Gillen. He was then taken to a hospital for evaluation before being transported to the Jefferson county correctional facility. Police said Shaw was restrained for “noncompliance.”
The lawsuit goes on to say that before Shaw entered the facility he slightly turned his body and officer Gillen responded by body slamming Shaw’s head into the jail’s concrete floor, fracturing his spine in multiple places and paralyzing him.
Shaw was then allegedly given no help for his injuries. The lawsuit adds that Shaw was left alone in his jail cell for almost 20 hours, where he “defecated and urinated on himself multiple times due to his inability to control his bowels and kidney function,” before receiving any medical attention. And when he asked a nurse for help, she allegedly told the injured Black man, “I won’t help you until you help yourself.”
Video of the incident was captured by officer Gillen’s body camera, but Beaumont authorities claim that releasing the video could jeopardize jail security.
Shaw’s attorney Harry Daniels says he has seen the video and is working with civil rights advocates to get it publicly released.
Since the incident, life has been tough for Christopher Shaw.
Daniels said his client’s life has been drastically changed forever.
“He was once an able-bodied young man before he was assaulted. He can no longer stand or walk. He is a prisoner of his own body. He spends a majority of his day in bed due to the fact he doesn’t have the resources to hire a full-time caregiver,” Daniels told KBMT.
He also told the publication that Shaw doesn’t have the means to pay for physical therapy or the proper treatment he needs for a full recovery.
“Cases like Mr. Shaw’s make it clear that police brutality is not just wrongful death,” said Bishop Barber during the Thursday press conference. “This man was wrongfully and brutally harmed and such non-lethal violence may leave the victims alive, but only to live a kind of death with all of their other injuries.“
The post Case Of Christopher Shaw: Black Man Paralyzed By Texas Police Adds Crump To His Legal Team appeared first on NewsOne.
Case Of Christopher Shaw: Black Man Paralyzed By Texas Police Adds Crump To His Legal Team was originally published on newsone.com
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