TRUE   DEMOCRACY     SPRING 2001     TABLE OF CONTENTS

POLICE BRUTALITY


Texas Police Brutality



Part 6

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55) 2/21/2000

I, Brenda Bennett, had court in Royse Court because Officer Hall was stalking my home and he chased me out of my driveway for about three miles before pulling me over and giving me a speeding ticket even though I was not speeding.

56) 3/13/2000

I, Brenda Bennett, and Chip both had court in Royse Court

57) 3/25/2000

Officer Earl raged at me and knocked me down while tearing my shirt off of me. I was bruised up and in an emotional stress with my blood pressure pounding out my ears. I knew this time they would kill me, but I got away and called 911 which Rockwall County Sherriff came in response. I told the sheriff to arrest the cop and I wanted to press charges. They refused to arrest him but made him leave my property. This sheriff department is where the chief of police Thomasson's wife is employed and they always conspire together.

58) 4/2000

My oldest son, Chad, left my home to go to work. The police were stalking us again, of course, and observed my son leaving. Officer Pelton stopped him on the next street over and gave him a DWI. Chad had just awakened before leaving for work and did not drink at all before leaving my home.

I and many others went to the scene and observed these corrupt cops. The chief of police, Thomasson was there in his private vehicle off duty, harassing my son. They then called Rockwall County Sheriff to arrest my son. Later I learned from his lawyer that it was illegal for the sheriff to arrest him. A DWI person has to be arrested by the officer that stopped him.

59) 4/12/2000

Rockwall County Sheriff went out of their county (illegal) to Dallas County and arrested my son, Chad, for these same false allegations from Royse City police, that caused a blue warrant to be put on Chad. But even though their was a blue warrant on my son, did not give them legal authority to go to Dallas County and arrest him.

60) 4/2000

Chad's Parole Officer stated that Thomasson called him and told him that we are an awful family and all with long records, etc. The truth is we never had a record until Royse police placed so many false allegations on us.

61) 4/26/97

11:30 PM Royse police illegally impounded my Chevrolet Blazer. The police made four people get out of my blazer and walk home because they said they were impounding it because it had a SR-22 filed on it. SR-22 is a legal insurance paper that is filed on vehicles. This was not a legal reason to impound and sell a vehicle as they did.

62) 4/26/97

At about 2:30 AM, about 20 Royse City cops with Rockwall County Sheriff deputies beat my door in to tell me that crime watch called them and said my daughter and I were in my front yard with only panties and a Tshirt on. I immediately slammed the door in their face and told them they had sick minds and to get off my property.

63) 11/5/97

Royse court requested a business affadavid for the days Chanda was in the hospital because the hospital record was not good enough for her court absence. DPS legal department in Austin told me that the only way a court can request a business affadavid is if it is needed to be used as a witness in court.

64) 11/15/98

Royse busted door in without knocking because they were stalking us again at church and observed my ex husband coming to my home to see our kids, and they arrested my ex husband for a misdemeanor after tearing my house to pieces and destroying my doors and walls.

65) 1997

My ex husband was given a ticket because one wheel of his trailer was touching my yard. I drove throughout the town and observed approximately 20 trailers that were totally parked on their yards and they are still parked in their yards today and they said they never received tickets.

66) 11/97

In Quinlin, Texas, Wood County probation officer, Larry Wilcox, called me and told me that Royse City chief of police, Thomasson, keeps calling him encouraging him to put a warrant out on my ex husband. My ex husband had been given a ticket in Winnsboro Texas in Wood County, for living on his very own inherited land and house from his parents, for trespassing. Without my ex husband's knowledge, his sister, Mary Bennett Fisher, had forged my ex husband's name and sold their inherited land.

67) 11/97

This was one of many times that I faxed leaders for help from this conspiracy. This day I faxed letters to Texas Senator David Cain's office in Greenville, Texas; his assistant Jeb Mainord spoke with me about it.

68) 9/21/99

Chip was writting Chip a ticket for "supposedly" having snuff in his mouth but no one has ever seen any snuff. As the officer was writting the ticket, he received a family violence call and had to leave.

69) 10/5/99

Officer was stalking me again at church. As I pulled out of my driveway, Hall started his cop car and followed me. He stopped me about three miles after following and gave me a speeding ticket. I was not speeding and I told him so.

70) 10/14 thru 10/ 18

Police shined spotlights in our windows every night.

71) 10/15,99

Police went to Royse elementary and told Chip's friend's (Dustin Hix) mother that Dustin has been writting e mails from Rustic Meadows sub division (my sub division) to a boy at school. Dustin has never used my computer or e mail.

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS DALLAS DIVISION

MATTHEW BENNETT and BRENDA BENNETT

Plaintiffs,

V. CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:99-CV-0672-L

DANA THOMASON, BILL VEGAS, BETSY BROCKMAN, MELODY EAST, JUDY COTTER and ROYSE CITY, TEXAS

Defendants.

Plaintiff's FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND

TO THE HONORABLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:

INTRODUCTION

1. This is a civil action based on the United States Constitution and the common law for money damages. Plaintiffs have been denied rights guaranteed to them by the United States Constitution. Because of the acts and/or omissions of Defendants Royse City, Texas, Dana Thomason, Bill Vegas, Betsy Brockman, Melody East, Judy Cotter and Royse City, Texas, the Plaintiff's privacy was violated, their home was illegally entered, the Plaintiffs were illegally detained, the Plaintiffs suffered injury from an unlawful eviction, the Plaintiffs were deprived of property, the Plaintiff's were deprived of the right to association and the Defendants unlawfully interfered with the mother-son relationship.

JURISDICTION

2. Jurisdiction over this action exists by reason of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and by virtue of 28 U.S.C. 1331, 1343(3), 1343(4). Plaintiff's claims are procedurally brought forth pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 1988.

VENUE

3. All of the Defendants reside in Rockwall County, Texas, within the judicial district of this Court. Defendant, Royse City, Texas is located within Rockwall County, Texas. Plaintiff's claims arose within the judicial district of this Court.

PLAINTIFF

4. Plaintiff Matthew "Chip" Bennett is a citizen and resident of the United States and the State of Texas and is presently seventeen (17) years of age.

5. Plaintiff Brenda Bennett is a citizen and resident of the United States and the State of Texas. Plaintiff Brenda Bennett is the mother of Plaintiff Matthew Bennett and brings this suit on behalf of herself and her son.

DEFENDANTS

6. At all relevant times herein Defendants Dana Thomason and Bill Vegas were police officers employed by the City of Royse City, Texas. Dana Thomason had been appointed by Royse City's Council as Police Chief. At all times pertinent hereto, each individual Defendant acted under the color of state laws and usage. Defendant Vegas is sued in his individual capacity. Defendant Thomason is sued in his individual and official capacity. The Royse City Council selected/appointed/delegated to Dana Thomason all policy and employment decisions related to the operation of the Royse City Police Department. By policy and/or custom, Defendant Royse City, Texas failed to properly instruct its officers on the procedures required by the Fourth Amendment in regard to the service of warrants and on what constitutes probable cause for the seizure of persons and/or seizure of property.

Defendant Thomason, on several occasions prior to the seizure of Plaintiffs Matthew Bennett and Brenda Bennett, had demonstrated to Royse City, Texas' policy makers that he was an unstable and incompetent police official.

Defendant Thomason established policy for the Royse City Police Department and purposely failed to remove Vegas and/or purposely failed to correct Vegas' and other Royse City police officials demonstrated deficiencies and/or incompetence. Prior to the illegal acts visited upon the Plaintiffs, Defendant Royse City, Texas knew or should have known that Defendants Thomason and Vegas were erratic and unstable persons who were not capable of performing as police officers in conformance with the Constitution.

Defendant Royse City, Texas has ratified Thomason's and Vegas' acts and Royse City officials and policy makers have approved and ratified their improper and illegal acts including illegal and malicious prosecutions, illegal arrests, illegal searches, the illegal takings of the Plaintiff's property and discrimination directed towards the Plaintiffs because of their association with Afro-Americans. During the time both Thomason and Vegas were working as police officers for Royce City, Texas, both Thomason and Vegas demonstrated that they are unpredictable, prone to make improper decisions to arrest and search, and they are erratic, and prone to illegal acts, however, no official in the Royse City, Texas, has removed either of them from duty. Rather, Royse City, Texas chose to ignore and/or cover-up Defendant Thomason's and Defendant Vegas' improper acts.

7. Defendants Betsy Brockman, Melody East and Judy Cotter are employees of the Texas Department of Human Services. At all material times herein these individuals acted under color of law. These Defendants are sued in their individual capacity.

FACTS AND CAUSES OF ACTION

8. Plaintiff Matthew Bennett was born on November 23, 1981. This Plaintiff was born with several congenital birth defects. During his first year of life Matthew Bennett was diagnosed with a bowel malrotation. Surgery was performed and partial correction of the malrotation was accomplished. During the surgery it was discovered that Matthew Bennett's inferior vena cava was absent and that blood returned to the heart via the hemiazygos vein. The inferior vena cava is a large vein that returns blood from the lower body to the heart. (The absence of the vena cava is a relatively difficult condition to diagnose and is one that a physician may overlook in a routine medical examination. For this reason, a physician would need to examine Matthew Bennett's extensive medical records before rendering any sort of an opinion, as to his medical health and/or status. The absence of an inferior vena cava means that blood in the body of Plaintiff Matthew Bennett does not adequately return to his heart, making it dangerous for him to become physically or emotionally exerted. Discovery of the missing vena cava occurred during surgery to correct another problem.) Other problems subsequent to the malrotation developed and they were diagnosed as follows:

1) Duodenal obstruction from a portal vein with bile drainage directly into the stomach;

2) Recurrent pneumonia;

3) Left vesicoureteral reflux;

4) Renal vascular hypertension;

5) Immobile Selye syndrome;

6) Kartagener's syndrome; and

7) Situs inversus with exclusion of the hears. On several occasions Plaintiff Brenda Bennett has been informed by several treating physicians that, due to his medical problems, Matthew Bennett's life is in constant jeopardy. Plaintiff Matthew Bennett also suffered scarlet fever, strep throat, mononucleosis and varicellar zoster infection. Later in life, Plaintiff Matthew Bennett was discovered to have a mal-developed frontal lobe in his brain. This condition caused a type of seizure that occurred when Plaintiff Matthew Bennett was sleeping. Additionally, Plaintiff Matthew Bennett developed a form of diabetes. As a result of these problems and others, Plaintiff Matthew Bennett has spent the majority of his life under the care of numerous physicians. His medical condition has also necessitated numerous hospitalizations. As a result of these conditions, etc. Plaintiff Brenda Bennett, mother of Plaintiff Matthew Bennett, was forced to give up employment and devote herself to the full-time care of her son, Matthew Bennett. Over the last seventeen years Plaintiff Brenda Bennett, because of the necessity to lift her ever growing son, has severely injured her back and she is now physically disabled due to back injuries.

9. Because of the amount of time that Brenda Bennett has devoted to the care of her son, Matthew Bennett, and because of a divorce from the father of Matthew Bennett, Plaintiff Brenda Bennett has been rendered financially destitute and she and her son Matthew are dependant on charity and government benefits for survival. The Defendants are all aware of the Plaintiff's financial difficulties and all of them discriminate against the Plaintiffs because of their financial status and all of the Defendants have acted against the Plaintiffs because they believe that poor people cannot fight back and poor people, like the Plaintiffs, cannot resist their illegal acts.

10. The Plaintiffs have also incurred the ire of the Royce City Police Department and Defendant Thomason because the Plaintiffs have befriended several black or Afro-American persons. On several occasions over the last two years, members of the Royse City Police Department have informed black persons visiting the Plaintiff's home in Royse City, Texas to not visit the Plaintiff's home. In December, 1997, Defendant Thomason ordered black children playing in the Plaintiff's yard to leave the Plaintiff's home and get on "your side of Royse City." On numerous other occasions black persons in the company of the Plaintiff Brenda Bennett's adult daughter were detained and were caused to display their identification and/or driver's license to members of the Royse City Police Department including Defendant Thomason. Thomason and Royse City police officials did these acts without any actual belief that any offense had been committed or that they actually suspected criminal activity. The requirement to display identification was not done to further some legitimate police purpose but rather was done to intimidate the black persons who had been or were to be guests at the Plaintiff's home.

11. From the time that the Plaintiff's became residents of Royse City, Texas, they have resided at 701 Meadowdale. This home is located in the same neighborhood and is very close to the home occupied by Defendant Dana Thomason and Defendant Dana Thomason objects to the Plaintiffs living near him. At all relevant times herein Royce City officials and Defendant Thomason have sought to force the Plaintiffs to leave Royse City, Texas. In order to carry this plan into effect, Defendant Thomason, without adequate cause or suspicion, has required and/or encouraged members of the Royse City Police Department to place the Plaintiff's home under surveillance. In addition to surveillance conducted by members of the Royse City Police Department, Thomason has encouraged his neighbors who are in the Royse City Police Department's sponsored "Neighborhood Watch Program" to place the Plaintiff's home under surveillance as well. The result of Defendant Thomason's acts means that the Plaintiff's home has been under police surveillance for the last several years. This has occurred in spite of the fact that no criminal conduct has actually been suspected and no crime has been committed other than some traffic offenses.

12. On or about March 26, 1997 all of the Defendants agreed among themselves, without probable cause, to remove Plaintiff Matthew Bennett from the care of his mother. To accomplish this, Defendant Thomason falsely told Defendants Brockman, East and Cotter that Matthew Bennett was being mistreated by his mother, Plaintiff Brenda Bennett. Defendants Brockman, East and Cotter, with the knowledge that they had no evidence of any mistreatment of Matthew Bennett, filed a lawsuit against Brenda Bennett based solely on speculation. In this lawsuit, Defendants Brockman, East and Cotter falsely contended in a wholly conclusionary fashion and without cause that Brenda Bennett was over protective of Matthew Bennett and that in reality Matthew Bennett was not in the need of any medical supervision or care and that Brockman, East and Cotter should have parental control and supervision over Matthew Bennett. These conclusions were false and were made wholly without a factual basis.

261.101 requires personal knowledge of the factual basis for bringing suit.

None of the Defendants had any reasonable basis to believe that Matthew Bennett was not in need of constant care and supervision. (During all relevant periods of time herein, Plaintiff Brenda Bennett had in her possession a copy of her son's (Matthew Bennett) hospital records from Children's Medical Hospital located in Dallas, Texas. This hospital and the physicians located therein have primarily cared for Matthew Bennett for much of his life. The Plaintiff kept these records in her possession so if any emergency situation developed, Brenda Bennett could brief any emergency physician on the Plaintiff Matthew Bennett's status and/or medical condition.

All of the Defendants were given, by Brenda Bennett, the opportunity to examine these records but none of them until long after March 26, 1997 availed themselves of the opportunity to examine these materials and/or recognize their significance.



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