Officers Who Choked Black Man For Smiling Mugshot Face Lawsuit

Harris County jail officers in Texas face a gigantic civil right lawsuit for choking a black man, Christopher Johnson, during a mugshot.

Christopher Johnson, who was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in July 2015, said the two Texas deputies choked him for smiling on his mugshot.

According to the lawsuit, Johnson was told to stop smiling while taking a mugshot, but said to the officers, “This is how I always take my pictures.” One of the deputies replied, saying “We gon’ to make you stop smiling,” another officer pushed his head against the wall and there they tightly cuffed their hands around his neck for about half a minute.

Even when Johnson asked for medical help after he was been assaulted, they told him to “sit down and shut up.

Johnson’s attorney, Andre Evans, said in an interview that “what took place at the Harris County jail that night was a clear violation of my client’s first amendment free speech rights as well as a childish show of excessive force.”

The sheriff’s department said in a statement that there is no crime in smiling when taking a face photo for police records, but it seems like black men are not allowed to smile, else they’ll get choked.

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