BECKLEY – A Panther resident alleges that state police officers used excessive force during a traffic stop in McDowell County.

Jamie S. Justice filed a complaint Sept. 11 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Beckley Division against Ralph W. Justus, Jarod A. Tupper and John Doe, individually and as members of the West Virginia State Police alleging violation of the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on Sept. 30, 2016, he was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by his ex-wife when defendants Justus and Tupper stopped them for a non-functioning headlight. The plaintiff alleges that he was asked to step out of the car and Tupper handcuffed him when plaintiff affirmed that he had drugs in his possession. The plaintiff alleges Tupper then slammed the plaintiff's head against the side of the cruiser multiple times when putting him into the back of the cruiser. He also alleges he was choked until he lost consciousness.

The suit states that the plaintiff was treated at Welch Community Hospital and Princeton Community Hospital and was diagnosed with contusions, rib fracture, possible concussion and other injuries.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks damages in an amount to be proven at trial, attorney's fees, costs and expenses and all further relief as the court deems just and proper. He is represented by Russell A. Williams and Eric J. Buckner of Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet & Buckner PLLC in Charleston.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Beckley Division case number 1:17-cv-03967

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