Man Who Needed Plastic Surgery After Allegedly Violent DPD Arrest Avoids Conviction, Gets $105,000 Settlement

ChiefDavidBrown-thumb-225x242.jpg
DPD Chief David Brown
Shortly after Danny Cantu's home was searched by Dallas police officers, he ended up in the hospital with trauma to his face. "Kicked in head," read the notes in his medical records. He had been admitted with septal hematoma -- bruising or bleeding in the nose -- and lacerations on his eyebrow, which doctors repaired with plastic surgery. Sure sounds like there was an ugly arrest.

Yet after that confrontation with officers, which happened back in 2010, police apparently realized they didn't have enough on Cantu to keep him detained. Cantu was never charged with any crime in connection with the search, not even resisting arrest, which perhaps could have explained the injuries. Instead, he just won a $105,000 settlement from the city of Dallas for a lawsuit he filed against the DPD alleging excessive force. The practical lesson here is not to kick people in the head unless you're sure have a really good reason to do it.

Cantu filed a suit related to the arrest back in 2012. In the complaint, he said he was making a sandwich when officers tossed a flash-bang grenade through his window. Then, he claimed, they kicked in the door and ordered him to get on the ground. After he complied, he said the officers kicked and punched him until he was unconscious and lying in his own blood.

The officers did at least have a no-knock search warrant. They said they believed Cantu was trafficking cocaine for drug cartels. And the warrant shows they found some interesting things in the search:

Approximately 0.1 grams cocaine,

1 - pair of nun-chuks,

1- unknown brand. sawed off, 12 gauge shotgun serial #unknown,

1- Samsung cell phone, miscellaneous paperwork, photographs

Not quite cartel status, but 0.1 grams of cocaine is at least more illegal sounding than the miscellaneous paperwork. In court filings, Mark Michaels, the first officer on the scene, responds that Cantu actually ran through his kitchen when asked to show his hands. Michaels followed and then pushed Cantu, he says, in order to get him on the ground. After scanning the scene for other possible threats, "Michaels observed blood on the kitchen floor and learned that Cantu had suffered some injuries in the course of his encounter with the officers, and that Cantu received medical treatment by paramedics and was to receive additional treatment." But Michaels insists that he "was not deliberately indifferent to a serious medical need of Danny Cantu."

The $105,000 settlement was on the Dallas City Council's consent agenda, approved Wednesday without any debate. It comes a week after the Dallas Morning News published a story reporting that the Dallas City Council has approved about $6 million worth in settlements or verdicts related to lawsuits against the police department since 2011.


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4 comments
TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Cantu got a facelift and taxpayers got a haircut.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Just as with failure to ID, you cannot be charged with resisting arrest unless you are also arrested for a specific reason.

wcvemail
wcvemail

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul  
There's a particularly fishy catch-all (heh) law called "Evading Arrest or Detention," used to hook drivers who U-turn to avoid a checkpoint (state jail felony!) or even pedestrians who keep walking when told "Hey, You!" A defense atty told me one time that the Evading law is like a cop's last resort for charges, once the "perp" is chased down and is found to be committing no other crime.

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