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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

Lynchburg Resident Files Lawsuit Alleging Excessive Force by Police in K9 Attack at His Home

Written by: Sam Orlando

Herman Tracy Evans seeks $10 million in damages, claiming his civil rights were violated during a police encounter involving a K-9 unit.

LYNCHBURG, VIRGINIA — In a lawsuit that is sure to raise public attention and debate about police conduct, Herman Tracy Evans has filed a civil rights action against the City of Lynchburg and two of its police officers, alleging excessive force during his arrest on April 3, 2022. The lawsuit, lodged in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, details a harrowing sequence of events that allegedly occurred at Evans’ home.

According to the complaint, Officer Seth Reed, accompanied by a police dog named Knox, responded to a dispatch call regarding a disorderly conduct incident at Evans’ residence. The situation escalated after Evans, who had informed the officer that he was fine, was told to remain inside to avoid arrest. Despite this, an altercation ensued when Evans demanded that the officer leave his property, leading to more officers arriving at the scene.

The lawsuit alleges that Reed threatened to arrest Evans if he stepped outside again, subsequently employing the police dog after Evans retreated inside and refused to come out. In a turn of events described as unnecessary and brutal, the K-9 unit was unleashed into Evans' home, attacking him multiple times. The dog bites resulted in severe injuries to Evans, including puncture wounds and lacerations. Evans was reportedly knocked unconscious by Officer Reed during the incident and required hospitalization.

The legal claim highlights a breach of the Fourth Amendment and accuses Officers Reed and Jacob Daniel William of excessive force, gross negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress among other charges. The complaint also sheds light on the broader issue of police conduct in Lynchburg, citing multiple instances where LPD's use of force policies were allegedly ignored.

Evans' legal team, led by Steven D. McFadgen Sr. and Carlos A. Hutcherson, argues that the deployment of the K-9 unit was an unreasonable use of deadly force given that Evans was unarmed and posed no threat. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages totaling $10 million, alongside demands for corrective action to prevent future misconduct.

This lawsuit raises critical questions about the enforcement of use-of-force policies and the accountability of law enforcement officers. The case, scheduled for a jury trial, will likely be a focal point in ongoing national discussions about police reform and the proper use of police powers.

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