BUFFALO — A man who was arrested during a traffic stop over the summer is suing the city of Buffalo and its police department, alleging that officers beat him so badly that he suffered permanent injuries, including some vision loss.
Tyshawn Vance, 21, who filed the lawsuit Monday in state Supreme Court in Buffalo, says officers threw him to the ground and hit him during the Aug. 14 traffic stop.
“Suddenly, the defendants bear hugged the plaintiff and slammed him to the ground,” the lawsuit alleges, according to the Buffalo News.
The police report about the arrest says Vance was pulled over for speeding in a sport utility vehicle that had a license plate light out and did not display a registration.
A cellphone video that was posted on Facebook but is no longer visible shows Vance’s eye badly swollen and what appears to be blood smeared on the asphalt, the newspaper reported.
Vance is heard on the video telling the officers he doesn’t have a gun, but an officer shouts that the gun is beneath Vance on the ground and threatens to shoot Vance if he moves. Police recovered a loaded semiautomatic pistol from Vance, according to their report.
Vance says he suffered several eye injuries and some loss of vision. “The officers gratuitously inflected pain in a manner that was not reasonable in response to the circumstances,” he says in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit names the city of Buffalo, the Buffalo Police Department and several police officials as defendants. Emails seeking comment were sent to the police department and the city's law department.
A criminal case against Vance on charges including criminal possession of a weapon is pending.