Carlson Law Firm Representing Elderly Couple in Police Brutality Suit

The Carlson Law Firm is representing an elderly couple who say their rights were violated during a shopping trip to the Buda Wal-Mart in October of 2014.

Juan and Guadalupe Martinez, both in their 70’s, both requiring the use of powered scooters, say they became separated while shopping. When Guadalupe was looking for her husband, she was accused of theft.

Wal-Mart employees detained Guadalupe for questioning and Buda police were called to the scene.

Police body camera footage of the incident shows Guadalupe’s husband Juan attempting to enter the room where his wife was being held.

Officer Young of the Buda Police, who was in the room, asked Juan to step outside but the Vietnam vet, who was wearing a visible back brace, insisted he just wanted to be with his wife.

As seen on the body camera footage, the officer asked Juan again to step outside and said that if he didn’t would place him outside or place him under arrest for interfering.

Young then tried to grab Juan, who pulled away. The officer then put both hands on Juan, forcing him to the ground. In the video, Juan can be heard screaming in pain.

Young then stopped Guadalupe from going to check on her injured husband, telling her to sit down.

The officer requested EMS, however Juan was on the ground, ribs broken, for more than five minutes.

Guadalupe was charged for theft, and Juan for interfering. Their charges are still pending.

According to Carlson Partner Robert Ranco, the couple’s constitutional rights were violated.

“We all have the right not to be abused, not to have police officers excessively use force against us. When there is an excessive use of force, that’s an infringement of our fourth amendment rights,” he said. “When we look at Mr. Martinez in this circumstance, I think everything he did was completely reasonable, he was frustrated, he was not completely compliant, but he also was not aggressive and he didn’t pose any threat to anybody.”

A federal lawsuit has been filed, accusing Buda and the police officer of violating the Martinez’s fourth and fourteenth amendment rights. It also accuses Wal-Mart of negligence and false imprisonment.

Below Robert Ranco explains the law behind excessive force and the rights we have as citizens.

The incident as seen by Officer Young’s body camera can be viewed in its entirety below.

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