Shawnee man claims officers violated his civil rights

SHAWNEE, Okla. - David Deer was the passenger in a vehicle on December 20, 2017 when the driver was pulled over by police.

Deer and his friend had been shopping at Walls in Shawnee just before the stop. His friend ended up being arrested for shoplifting, but Deer was never accused of anything.

Deer said, despite that, he was handcuffed and held by Shawnee police.

“He continues to search me, and I’m like, I said 'Did I commit any crimes?' and he said no and I said 'I should be free to go after you search me,'" he said. "And, he says no, and he immediately puts me in handcuffs, and I’m asking him why he’s arresting me and he says 'I’m not arresting you, I’m detaining you.'”

Deer said, even though he was handcuffed, he still had his phone and was attempting to video the encounter when the officer accused him of trying to call someone. He said two officers wrestled the phone away from him.

“I look down, and the officer has my phone, and I hear the crack and, then, the phone is all shattered and it’s not even working no more,” he said.

The officers let Deer go about 10 minutes later.

Deer said he went to the hospital for cuts to his wrists from the handcuffs. And, he filed a complaint with the Shawnee Police Department.

An investigation was conducted, but Deer said he was never told the results. He also said he requested the police video of the stop.

Deer said the chief initially told him there was no video. He was finally provided a copy of dash camera video back in February but said it would never play.

Six months after the stop, Deer received another copy but said most of the audio is edited out.

"I cooperated; I did everything that I was supposed to. I know my rights, and my rights were violated and these guys should be held accountable,” he said. "We pay them to serve and protect us, and that's not what happened that night. And, then, now, they're trying to cover it up. It's just not right at all. I walked away innocent, you know, of any charges or anything and, you know, I just I think they need to be held accountable. What they did was wrong."

According to the police report on the traffic stop, the officer involved said Deer himself broke his phone from squeezing it to try to keep it away from officers.

Shawnee police provided us with this statement:

“On December 20th, 2017, Officers were called to Walls Bargain Center in reference to a shoplifting incident. After receiving a description of the suspect’s vehicle, officers initiated a traffic stop pulling over two suspects. Officers initially detained the driver and proceeded to speak with Mr. David Deer who was the passenger in the vehicle. When officers approached the vehicle to request Mr. Deer exit, he jumped out of the vehicle towards officers. Officers detained Deer while they investigated the allegations and checked for outstanding warrants. Deer disregarded directives of officers and was placed in the back of a patrol car to secure him for their safety while continuing the investigation. The driver was arrested in the incident and Deer was released.

We received a request from Deer for body and dash came video of officers from his incident. Officers were not equipped with body cam video, but dash cam video was released to Mr. Deer in compliance with CJIS. Mr. Deer contacted the City regarding the released disc stating his copy would not play. Staff made every attempt to work with Mr. Deer to facilitate instructions to play his video, but he refused to allow staff to help. After receiving another request for video information, Staff scheduled a meeting with Mr. Deer to go through the steps to view the video and show him how to play it. To our knowledge, Mr. Deer has two working copies of the video.”

Shawnee police told us they had to redact audio because of personal information that was going out over the radio in the officer’s vehicle. They also told us Deer has not submitted any claims for reimbursement for either his cellphone or medical bills.