The attorney who is representing several people in a federal civil lawsuit filed against Stone Sheriff Richard Hill, Deputy Brandon Flack, the Stone County Commission and the County itself has filed an amended complaint in response to Sheriff Hill's motion to dismiss.
The law firm of Whiteaker and Wilson in Springfield is now representing at least three people, one of them being Crane alderwoman Jessica White, who say Flack used unnecessary and excessive force when making their arrests.
Attorney Brandon Potter is asking the court to consider alleged prior bad acts committed by Deputy Flack while he was employed by the Branson West police department. Court documents allege that Sheriff Hill was aware of them before he hired Flack and that he continues to employ Flack even after a steady stream of allegations that the deputy uses "unnecessary and excessive force" when making arrests.
The amended complaint says Flack was "reprimanded verbally for unlawful police practice relating to unnecessary and excessive use of force." Those records also allege that even after Flack was involved in an alleged domestic assault in Taney County, he remained employed by the sheriff's office.
Because of the recent filing, additional allegations of Flack using excessive force have surfaced.
A witness told an investigator with the public defender's office that he was "disturbed" by the amount of force Flack used to arrest Charles Taulbee.
Potter says Taulbee was walking down the road in July of 2011 with a chainsaw and some other equipment when someone called the sheriff's department. Somewhere along Taulbee's route a man offered him some water and he placed his things in the man's garage. The man says when Flack made contact with Taulbee, “Charles was going over to his stuff and was instantly grabbed and thrown out of the garage and into the front yard. Charles kept stating that he was not resisting and that he was in pain.”
Taulbee was charged with resisting arrest, however, Stone County Prosecutor Matt Selby dismissed those charges.
It is also alleged that Flack has "a significantly disproportionate number" of people charged with resisting arrest, which have included the use of force/unnecessary force, when compared to other Stone County deputies.
The amended complaint says other deputies and public officials in Stone County and officers of other municipalities have "made complaints to the Stone County Sheriff’s Department about Flack’s behavior as an officer which included his use of unnecessary force/excessive force."
Potter says he will file another lawsuit against Flack and county officials alleging Flack used unnecessary force when he arrested Seth Fagan on July 4th.
Flack was dispatched to the Y-Bridge for a fight in progress about 10:27 p.m. He writes in the probable cause statement, "As I approached Seth I observed that his black clothing was covered in what appeared to be white dust which would to be consistent with the dust on the ground at the Cox Access. As I illuminated Seth with my flashlight I observed he had a bloody bottom lip and scuff marks, small lacerations to his elbows. Seth was sweating profusely and attempting to send what appeared to be a text message for his cell phone."
"Seth was failing to listen to my commands to stay seated while I was speaking with Central Dispatch. After approximately three time of asking Seth to sit down he opened his flip phone and snapped it in half holding both section of the phone in opposite hands. He then brought back both hands to approximately shoulder height and threw both sections of the cell phone striking both of my legs."
Flack says Fagan, 20, of Reeds Spring, resisted arrest twice by "using his weight against mine to pull me around."
Potter says Fagan suffered "a broken nose and numerous cuts and bruises" when he was arrested by Flack.
Earlier this year Flack and Deputy Taylor Jenkins filed a defamation lawsuit against Jessica White and two other people who were arrested with the alderwoman. They say they were only doing their job when they were assaulted by White. White's husband, Jordan, and her father-in-law Donny "Stick" White were charged for interfering with an arrest, They are also named in the defamation suit as is their former attorney, DaleWiley of Crane.
Another man, Robin Miller, says Flack used unnecessary force when he arrested Miller on his own property.
Potter says Sheriff Hill and county officials are liable for damages because they "failed, on a continuing basis, to train, instruct, supervise, control and discipline the law enforcement officers in Stone County."