In recent weeks, there has been more news concerning police brutality and fatalities than all of 2016. First, a man named Alton Sterling was killed by police in seemingly unjust circumstances; then, a man named Philando Castile was unlawfully shot four times in his car while his girlfriend and her daughter were present. He later died.
Enraged by the treatment African American U.S. citizens have been receiving, many Black Lives Matter protests have sprung up around the nation. In effect, a number of police officers have been shot – and some killed – in recent weeks.
While some might argue that the issue is relatively new, that is certainly not the case. Police brutality has been an issue for years, but only recently is it receiving the attention it deserves. It should, of course, be noted that there are good police officers who do what they can to abide by the law, but just like individuals of every faith and ethnicity, some abuse their power and behave in unacceptable ways.
An example of this took place in 2015 when an aspiring MMA fighter was dropped on his neck and ended up paralyzed by police.
Catholic Online reports that Donovan Duran lost all chances of being an MMA fighter when a La Junta police officer “fractured his neck then folded his limp body on the sidewalk.” The footage of the altercation can be viewed below.
Reportedly, the 25-year-old was arrested outside of his father’s home on December 7th, 2015 for being drunk and disorderly. This was the fourth time over the weekend cops had been called. The footage begins with Duran sitting in a police cruiser as an officer tells him to step outside of the vehicle.
Apparently impatient, the officer than grips Duran and hauls him from the backseat. The half-naked man is handcuffed and drunk, therefore, stumbles on the street. It’s then that Duran turns his head just in time to land on the pavement with his shoulder and neck.
He’s then forcefully flipped in a sideways somersault by the officer. The cam of the officer on duty recorded Donavan yelling, “I stopped! I stopped!”
Unfortunately, the damage had already been done. Unable to move, Duran asked “Help me” to the officers who lifted his limp body. As the video shows, he is then thrown into a wheelchair. Unable to control his body’s movements, his torso is slammed against the chair’s back and his head whips back and forth.
It reportedly took several hours for his condition to be recognized, as hospital personnel didn’t believe him when he complained of neck pain and the inability to feel his legs.
When one hospital staff member spoke to him, Duran said:
“He picked me up real fast. He got me all the way up to my feet, and I remember him being behind me. He had me by my waist and he just let go. I was dead weight.
“It was a hard fall. I remember my legs being two separate directions – like noodles dropping. I was like a sack of potatoes.”
Though Duran will no longer be fighting in the ring, he is now participating in a fierce legal battle. He is backed by his father, Eddie Duran, who admits that he called the police on his son, but never imagined that he’d be paralyzed for being belligerent. He told the press:
“I think they just got so frustrated with dealing with my son over the span of the weekend. that one of them just went off and speared him from behind.”
In June of this year, the Duran family hired attorney Durant Davids to file a lawsuit in federal court.
“The Colorado state criminal laws in question before the grand jury are entirely different than the federal laws providing for civil lawsuits against police officers for use of excessive force that causes injuries,” said Davids.
Even though the grand jury found Sergeant Vince Fraker responsible for fracturing Duran’s neck, Sgt. Faker’s received no reprimand because negligence “cannot be the basis of any criminal charges.”
The new lawsuit states that the La Junta Police Department failed to implement sufficient training policies for officers dealing with mental health problems, such as using de-escalation techniques instead of force.
“Franker’s use of excessive force as described above herein was outrageous and shocking to the conscience, in violation of Duran’s substantive due process rights,” the lawsuit reads.
Things don’t seem to be progressing in Duran’s favor, but the ex-MMA fighter has decided to “leave it in God’s hands” and not give up.
Watch the video below: