Dallas Drunk Driver Files Lawsuit Over Forced Blood Draw | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Dallas Drunk Driver Files Lawsuit Over Forced Blood Draw

Man claims police assaulted him while obtaining blood sample

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    A man convicted of driving drunk in March 2013 has filed a lawsuit accusing Dallas police officers and a nurse of violating his civil rights when they forced him to give a blood sample. (Published Friday, March 6, 2015)

    A man convicted of driving drunk two years ago filed a lawsuit this week accusing Dallas police officers and a nurse of violating his civil rights when they forced him to give a blood sample.

    Aaron Mosley filed the lawsuit in Dallas County District Court, naming the City of Dallas and Parkland Health & Hospital System, where the nurse worked.

    The city and the hospital declined comment.

    Mosley was arrested in March 2013 after police said he hit a neighbor's car and fled the scene.

    Police videos show Mosley refused to take a breath test, so officers obtained a judge’s warrant for his blood.

    Raw Video - Forced Blood DrawRaw Video - Forced Blood Draw

    WARNING: Some may find this video disturbing. Raw video shows the Dallas Police Department performing a forced blood draw on Aaron Mosley. He was convicted of drunk driving. He has since filed a lawsuit claiming police violated his rights when they forcibly took his blood.
    (Published Friday, March 6, 2015)

    "I ain't taking nothing," Mosley said. "I will take a jail cell."

    Later, as the nurse prepared to stick a needle into his arm, he said, “She will break that needle in my arm because I am not going there."

    The videos show Mosley’s ankles, wrist and shoulder were strapped on a specially-designed restraint chair.

    Officers and the nurse pleaded with him to cooperate, the videos showed.

    But Mosley's attorney, David Bower, said police went too far and accused one officer of assaulting Mosley by intentionally stepping on his bare foot.

    "Everyone I've shown this video to can't believe this happened in our city,” Bower said. “They're shocked by it."

    Mosley groaned as the nurse tried repeatedly to get his blood. She finally succeeded after about four minutes.

    Bower said forced blood draws give police too much power.

    "When the public sees that this is what happens in a forced blood draw, that somebody is strapped down basically like an executioner's table and has no way to resist and is subject to whatever force the police want to use against them, that's alarming in itself," he said.

    The first forced blood draws were done in 2005 in Dalworthington Gardens, where police do them routinely in drunk driving cases. Generally, other departments do them in fatal accidents, when the suspect refuses a breath test or may have taken drugs.

    Bill Waybourne, chief of Dalworthington Gardens Department of Public Safety, said he thought of the idea of getting a search warrant for someone's blood – much like police obtain warrants to search a suspect’s house or car.

    "I remember bringing that up in a staff meeting and everyone probably thought I was nuts," Waybourne said.

    He said he worked with prosecutors, medical experts and others to perfect the procedure before implementing it.

    Forced blood draws with a judge's warrant have spread to about 15 other states and have survived several court challenges.

    "It almost sounds biblical, but you know, the truth is in the blood,” Waybourne said. “That's what we were trying to get to."

    He said the blood evidence is so strong, the conviction rate in his city is 100 percent.

    Waybourne also said officers' overtime for attending trials has been cut to "near zero."

    He added that most people cooperate with the blood draws and no restraints are necessary.

    However, Mosley's attorney said his case highlights the heavy-handed nature of forcibly taking someone’s blood.

    "There needs to be strict policies and strict training on how to do this and I think what we hope to reveal in this case is the lack thereof," Bower said.

    Read the lawsuit in its entirety below.

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