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Courthouse News Service
RALEIGH, N.C. (CN) – A man who was eating a taco at a Raleigh bus stop says a cop swept-kicked him to the ground, broke his leg and arrested him, then hauled him before a judge who sentenced him to 30 days in jail for contempt, because he could not stand on his broken leg.
Lynwood Earl Artis sued Raleigh police Officer James Rollins, Wake County and its sheriff, and others, in Federal Court.
Artis said that after buying his dinner at the Armadillo Grill, he “quietly began to eat his taco, waiting for the bus,” when Rollins “approached Artis on foot … and asked if a beer was his.”
“Artis leaned forward and saw what appeared to be a discarded can of beer that had been concealed from his view” by a newspaper rack. He says he told Rollins, “‘Why, Officer, if that beer were mine, I would be enjoying it with my meal.'” And he resumed eating his taco.
He says Rollins asked him for ID, then “Without either warning or being told he was under arrest, Rollins grabbed Artis by his still taco-laden arm, and spun Artis around with great force, which pivoted Artis on his left leg and sent the hapless taco flying.
“Rollins twisted Artis’ arm behind his back and then swept-kicked Artis’ legs from the side and threw him to the ground.
“All of Artis’ weight was still on his left leg from being spun by Rollins, and Artis felt and heard his lower left leg sicken[ing]ly crack when Rollins swept-kicked him.”