SPONSORED:

Lawsuit alleges Kansas sheriff's deputy purposely ran over Black former officer

Lawsuit alleges Kansas sheriff's deputy purposely ran over Black former officer
© Getty Images

A lawsuit filed in Kansas City alleges a sheriff's deputy purposefully ran over a Black former police detective.

The former detective, 35-year-old Lionel Womack, alleged in the suit filed on Thursday that he was seriously injured after Kiowa County Sheriff's Deputy Jeremy Rodriguez intentionally ran over him on Aug. 15, the Associated Press reported.

Dashcam footage from the encounter shows a sheriff's deputy patrol truck driving over a shirtless Black man who was running in a field at night earlier this year.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a statement, Womack said he was neither intoxicated nor was he speeding before he was initially pulled over. Additionally, his registration and insurance were valid and up to date.

“When the first officer turned his lights on, I pulled over and complied ... exactly as you’re supposed to. But when three additional vehicles pulled up quickly and started to surround my car, I freaked out. That’s when I took off, it was a ‘fight or flight’ moment and I was going to live,” Womack said.

The video evidence is leading the federal civil rights case filed by Womack's attorney Michael Kuckelman against Deputy Rodriguez.

“I felt like I was in danger. This was out in the country, late at night, and it was dark. So I ran for my life. That’s what you see in the dashcam video. I’m running in an open field, and I’m scared,” Womack said of the encounter with Rodriguez.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to the lawsuit, the footage shows Rodriguez swerved his truck to hit Womack during the pursuit, and a deputy in a second patrol truck can be heard uttering an expletive while he watches the encounter.

Womack's lawsuit alleges sustained serious injuries to his back, pelvis, and injuries from his right thigh all the way down to his ankle and foot.

Kiowa County Sheriff Chris Tedder and his attorney did not respond to a request for comment by the AP.

Additionally, there is no written or a given explanation for why Rodriguez decided to drive over Womack.

Zee Womack, the alleged victim's wife, said she is also a police officer and filed a federal lawsuit. last year alleging "rampant racism and sexism" in the Kansas City Police Department.

The former officer Womack involved in the arrest said he believes most officers are good, adding that he believes in "blue brotherhood." He noted that despite his support, he believes law enforcement should be accountable when officers behave out of line.