DEARBORN – Luther Gonzales Hall was coming from a friend’s house on his bike. He had a bit to drink and wanted to be sure he was heading the right way to get home when he was attacked by a police officer seemingly without provocation.
The suit he won not only alleges violations of constitutional rights, but false imprisonment, arrest, battery — and the wrongful charging of a crime.
Police bodycam recording shows the interaction between a Dearborn Police officer and Gonzales Hall inside a White Castle in 2018.
Officer: “I told you where it was at, so why are you in here asking the same thing?”
Gonzales Hall: “I’m not for sure where I’m going.”
Officer: “I told you where to go.”
Gonzales Hall: “Okay, thank you.”
Officer: “Is that accurate or no?”
Gonzales Hall: “Yeah.”
Officer: “So why you in here?”
Gonzales Hall: “I was just making sure.”
Then 20-year-old Gonzales Hall had stopped to speak with the officer outside, but was still confused
“I had asked him for directions and he was just being rude already, cursing at me and stuff,” he said. ” I just wanted to get away from him. I felt like he was having a bad day. That’s why I went to the White Castle and try to ask them. Because I had been there plenty of times.
“I was trying to find my way home. And I kept asking him what did I do, what did I do?”
On police bodycam video, Gonzales Hall can be heard saying that after seemingly being forced to the ground.
Looking at the jury’s $9.3 million verdict, the answer to that is nothing — except decide to get out of there.
(Video) Officer: “Come here guy, whoah.”
Gonzales Hall, who was still on his bike inside the White Castle, began to leave when the officer’s video shows him running at him. Gonzales Hall would eventually be tackled.
“Luther had a right to resist, because as a citizen — most people don’t know this — you can resist an unlawful arrest,” said attorney Azzam Elder. “So the officer figures, oh he resisted, I’m going to stick him with a charge of resisting and opposing.”
That charge was eventually dropped.
Gonzales Hall has had several surgeries, according to his attorney, including multiple ones on his foot, and has been left with permanent damage.
“My dad was a cop, my dad would have given him a ride home,” Elder said. “My dad would have called his dad, his mom or somebody to say, hey, he’s a little disoriented, can you come pick him up.”
“I was just happy that people that didn’t even know me, let me have my rights,” Gonzales Hall said. “Even the other officer said I didn’t have no rights when they were doing that to me.”
FOX 2 reached out to Dearborn officials for comment to find out if the officer is still working for the department and in what capacity.
– Fox 2 Detroit. Edited for style.