St. Louis federal jury sides with police officer in civil rights action based on alleged excessive force

Stl Police.jpgA federal jury sitting in St. Louis, Missouri, recently entered a defense verdict in a civil rights action filed against a St. Louis police officer. The plaintiff, Christopher Dixon, brought suit against Officer Eddie Boyd III, alleging Officer Boyd struck him in the face with a pistol and then dragged him through the street without provocation. In response, Officer Boyd asserted that Dixon ran from him and that in the process of detaining Dixon he slipped on wet grass and his handcuffs accidentally struck Dixon in the face. Apparently, Dixon’s testimony at trial differed from his deposition testimony.

The lawsuit also named the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners as a defendant. Dixon alleged the Board failed to supervise Officer Boyd, pointing to three prior excessive force complaints levied against him. However, the Board settled with Dixon a few days before trial for $35,000.