Jury awards $1.3M in ‘excessive force’ suit
By LPR Staff
A Federal Jury last week awarded a Caldwell County man more than $1.3 million in damages after home surveillance video supported his claim that Caldwell County deputies used excessive force during his 2015 arrest.
Lawrence Faulkenberry filed the civil suit in 2015, alleging that his arrest stemmed from a false report from his son, who the Original Petition states suffers from “severe and diagnosed mental illness,” after an argument about homework and taking out the trash. The son, he claimed, threatened to knowingly make a false report claiming that Faulkenberry was “drunk and threatening him with a gun.”
He made good on the threat, bringing the Caldwell County deputies to the Faulkenberrys’ Oak Trail home.
When the deputies arrived, Faulkenberry claimed, the deputies secured the “victim,” and then approached Faulkenberry, who stood on the porch with his hands in the air.
Faulkenberry’s home surveillance video shows the deputies performing a “takedown” with a leg-sweep, and then tackling Faulkenberry to the ground.
At the time the suit was filed, Caldwell County Sheriff Daniel Law told media sources that he had spoken to the involved deputies about how the situation could have been handled better, but did not take any disciplinary action against them.
Upon his initial arrest, the suit claims, Faulkenberry was held on more than $800,000 in bonds for multiple charges, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, assault of a public servant and resisting arrest. Later, a magistrate was shown the surveillance video and reduced his bond to $5,000.
Included in his suit, Faulkenberry sought damages for his “humiliation” after his photograph and a story about the arrest appeared in the Luling Newsboy, a clipping of which was included in his initial filing.
Caldwell County Judge Kenneth Schawe confirmed on Wednesday morning that the jury had returneda ruling in the case, but said the County was “not sure what we’re going to do about that yet.”
He declined to comment further about what options are available for payment of the award, or an appeal of the ruling.
Law did not immediately return a request for comment, and District Attorney Fred Weber declined comment, except to say that he had declined to pursue charges against Faulkenberry related to the incident.
The Post-Register will provide updates on this developing story as additional information is made available.