A Stone County deputy who has been accused of using unnecessary force in connection to the May 5th arrest of Crane alderwoman Jessica White and three others has been named in a separate unrelated federal lawsuit filed in Springfield on June 11th.
The County and County Commissioner's are also named in the suit.
Robin Kelly Miller says Deputy Brandon Flack used excessive force when he arrested Miller on the mans property on January 30th.
According to state court records filed in a DWI case against Miller, he (Miller) contacted authorities and firefighters in Stone County to inform them that he would be burning on his property that evening. Flack was dispatched to the property at 1201 Hardin Hills Drive in Galena two times that night, according to the probable cause statement.
At about 9:00 p.m. deputy Flack was dispatched after a neighbor call to say the controlled burn was crossing a private road and encroaching their property. The
"At that time, I had smelled a very strong odor of intoxicating liquor on his (Miller's) breath and had observed that he was highly intoxicated and unable to stand alone without holding onto a car that he was standing next to. He promised me at that time that he would not drive a car that night, and agreed with me that he was too intoxicated to drive a motor vehicle," Flack wrote in court documents.
|1201 Hardin Hills Drive|
Within minutes of departing, Flack was again dispatched to Miller's property because According to the suit, the deputy became involved when a neighbor called and said the burn was crossing a private road on to their property and a
"After the vehicle stopped and Miller opened his driver side door and stepped out of the car the vehicle lunged forward as he tried to exit the car. Miller began to fall out of the vehicle but somehow managed to get the car stopped before falling out of the car onto his head, chest and upper body."
Flack says Miller refused to comply with his demands and attempts to handcuff him. "I was forced to take him to the ground to gain control over him," Flack writes in the probable cause used as a basis for the charge.
Miller was taken to Skaggs Regional Medical Center in Branson for treatment of injuries, according to court records.
The federal lawsuit, which is seeking monetary damages, was filed against Flack alleges that the deputy Flack deprived "Miller's rights and protections afforded him under the constitution, specifically the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment."
|Stone County Sheriff Richard Hill|
It also alleges that Sheriff Richard Hill and Stone County 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."
Miller's attorney, Brandon C. Potter of the Whiteaker and Wilson law firm in Springfield writes in court documents, "While in the course of driving his (Miller's) vehicle on his private property to observe the fire being extinguished by the Stone County Fire Department, he observed behind him lights from a patrol vehicle driven by Flack."
According to federal court documents, Miller opened his door slowly and was attempting to exit the vehicle when he "was struck violently by Flack in the area of his left ear, head, jaw and skull."
|Attorney Brandon C. Potter|
Those same documents allege that after Flack struck Miller he continued to physically assault him. After he was placed in handcuffs Miller, who was unconscious and face down was unable to comply with Flack's demands that "he get up." Flack then allegedly "struck Miller in the face/jaw area repeatedly with his knee."
When reached by phone for comment, Miller confirmed that his left ear was nearly severed from his head in the altercation. Potter says his client has accumulated over $52,000 worth of medical bills related to the incident, but a dollar amount on damages they are seeking has yet to be determined.
Potter alleges that Flack's use of force on Miller was "excessive and not objectively reasonable as the only possible alleged crime committed by Miller was a traffic violation." Attorney Brandon Potter of Springfield law firm Whiteaker and Wilson says his client has more than $52,000 worth of medical bills. Potter says the total damages they are seeking at to be determined.
"There was no reason to use the amount of force used on Miller when he did not pose an immediate threat to the safety of the officers and he did not actively resist arrest or attempt to evade an arrest by flight."