Attorney Lee Merritt is filing a lawsuit on behalf of a man who claims he's a victim of profiling and excessive force by the Grand Prairie Police Department that's left him permanently disfigured.
Rashan A. Barnes said on July 31, at about noon, he was in a parking lot near Carrier Parkway and Warrior Trail after shopping and visiting some friends at a barbershop when a Grand Prairie police officer stopped him and asked him for identification.
Barnes, who knew he had two outstanding misdemeanor warrants, admits to giving the officer his cousin's name instead of his own, his attorney said. As the officer verified the information, "Barnes attempted to end the encounter by running away from the officer," Merritt said.
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The officer, Barnes' attorney said, shot him with a stun gun that "caused Barnes to immediately lose consciousness and sail into the air." His attorney said he landed on his face and arms, causing severe injuries to his nose, scalp, face and arms.
Paramedics were called, who then transferred Barnes to a nearby hospital. Since he was only wanted on misdemeanor warrants, he was released on his own recognizance.
Barnes' attorneys contend the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop and ask him for identification and that he did not appear to be involved in any crime.
"Mr. Barnes will be filing a formal complaint with Grand Prairie Internal Affairs and pursuing a Civil Rights lawsuit against the Grand Prairie Police Department," Merritt said.
"To suggest that this was racial profiling is absurd, and I will not stand for it," said Grand Prairie Police Chief Steve Dye, who was visibly upset with the accusations as he and the NAACP addressed the media Wednesday afternoon.
Angela Luckey, the president of the Grand Prairie NAACP, said she reviewed dash camera video of the incident that has not been made public just yet and said the NAACP is backing the police officer's actions.
"I did not see an instance of excessive force being used. I saw the person in question by a Hispanic officer get up and flee after he provided a fake name to the police officer," Luckey said.
"We will come out for what is right. We are not going to side with a wrong side," she added.
Dye defended his officer who deployed her Taser during the late July arrest of Barnes.
"Mr. Barnes only has himself to blame. Don't lie to the police officer, don't run from the police officer, and then we won't have to use our conductive energy weapon to stop you," Dye said.
Barnes was wanted on two outstanding warrants at the time of his arrest and now faces two more charges for evading arrest and/or detention and failure to identify as a fugitive, according to police.