CHARLESTON – A former Charleston police officer has been accused of unnecessary use of force by a man who he arrested.
Diarra Jermaine Boddy filed his lawsuit Sept. 9 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Brian A. Lightner, the City of Charleston Police Department and the City of Charleston.
In his complaint, Boddy says Lightner was driving a police cruiser on Sept. 10, 2013, when he passed Boddy on Kanawha Boulevard. Boddy says Lightner made an abrupt U-turn and began following Boddy, trailing him on Veazey Avenue to his house. When Boddy got out of his vehicle, he says Lightner activated his cruiser’s lights, stopped his cruiser and got out of the cruiser with his gun pulled and pointed at Boddy. He then told Boddy to get back to his vehicle and then ordered Bodd to the ground and pulled out his stun gun.
“Plaintiff had his hands out in front of him, fearing for his life, and was attempting to go to the ground when defendant Brian A. Lightner proceeded to fire his stun gun, tasering the plaintiff in the chest for a total of five (5) cycles, each lasting five seconds each,” the complaint states. “Not more than three (3) seconds had passed from the time defendant Brian A. Lightner commanded the plaintiff to get to the ground before defendant Lightner fired his stun gun at the plaintiff.”
In the complaint, Boddy says he didn’t try to flee and was complying with Lightner’s commands.
Boddy says he fell to the ground, striking the pavement in a prone position and “lost control of all motor functions and urinated upon himself” after the first stun gun cycle.
After the last cycle, Boddy says Lightner placed him in handcuffs, “forcefully made the plaintiff stand and escorted the plaintiff to his police cruiser. During the walk to the cruiser, defendant Lightner commanded the plaintiff to shut up and screamed profanities at the plaintiff.”
Boddy accuses the defendants of violating his state and federal rights, battery and negligence. seeks compensatory damages for physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering, permanent injuries, medical expenses, loss of earning capacity and lost wages, scarring, humiliation, embarrassment, degradation and other injuries. He also sees punitive damages, attorney fees, court costs and to have the defendants undergo training to address the use of excessive force.
Lightner resigned from the department earlier this year after being investigated for destruction of property. He allegedly threw a man’s backpack off a bridge. The man said the backpack contained a laptop that had the only photographs he had of his late wife.
Boddy was convicted last year and given a 17-year jail sentence for the unlawful transport of firearms.
Boddy is being represented by Troy N. Giatras and Matthew Stonestreet of The Giatras Law Firm PLLC in Charleston. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.
Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 15-C-1704