Marcus Dise: Lawsuit Claims HPD Beat Him Up For Videotaping Them
It appears as though cops don't like beingphotographed
. Just ask Marcus Dise, another man who claims that he was the victim of police misconduct, in this instance allegedly beaten Tarantino-style by a pair of HPD officers after whipping out a video camera.
Dise is suing the City of Houston and the two officers in Houston federal court. He claims that he was right outside the Roxy nightclub on West Alabama a little before 2 a.m. in August 2008 videotaping a friend's rap video when a fight broke out in the parking garage. Dise was recording the brawl when two officers showed up and began breaking it up.
Dise claims that a bystander told the police that they were using too much force to break up the fight, to which one of the officers allegedly responded by hitting the man in the face, saying "It's HPD, we do what we want."
It should be noted here, before Dise continues his story, that HPD has conducted an internal investigation into the claims against the two officers, and the allegations were not sustained, says HPD spokesman John Cannon. He says that neither officer has ever been relieved of duty due to any incident or investigation.
Now back to Dise's lawsuit.
He claims that after the officer hit the bystander, he and the man tried to walk away from the officers, but one of the cops kept coming at them, punching the bystander again in the face. When Dise allegedly tried to step in between the two, the officer supposedly hit Dise on the head. Dise says that as he put his hands in the air to shield himself, crying, "What did I do?" the officer put him in a headlock.
It was about then, Dise claims, that the other officer rushed over, and together with his partner, allegedly handcuffed Dise, threw him on the ground and repeatedly kicked him for about two minutes. Dise says the officers then picked him up and dragged him inside the club and down to the basement. There, according to the lawsuit, the officers removed the handcuffs, beat him in the face, and then put the cuffs back on. Next, Dise says the two policemen took him to a security room inside the club, covered up the security camera, and beat him some more. Eventually, Dise was taken to jail.
(Editor's Note: You'd think there'd be a horrific mugshot of the guy available, but we don't know because the Harris County Sheriff's Office no longer can be bothered to give out mugshots to the media.)
Attorney C. Lauren Graham says his client, Dise, was charged with assaulting a police officer, but was acquitted at trial.
"It was just a random act of aggression by the Houston Police Department," Graham says.