DBAS Law’s Daniel Balaban Prevails in Federal Civil Rights Trial Involving Law Enforcement’s Excessive Force

After eight years of litigation, a jury awarded a $5 million verdict in a federal civil rights trial against San Diego County and its Sheriff’s Department for excessive force and negligent supervision involving a Sheriff’s Deputy. 

The lawsuit stemmed from a September 5, 2014, incident that resulted in our client being beaten by a Sheriff’s deputy and bit by a K-9 while handcuffed and restrained by two other Sheriff’s deputies.

The plaintiff, Mickail Myles, was pulled over by San Diego Sheriff Deputy Jeremy Banks while driving with his younger brother just blocks from their house. Minutes before the traffic stop, neighbors called 911 to report a doorbell ditch and possible car tampering.

During the stop, Deputy Banks asked Myles to get behind the patrol car, and as he walked back toward the deputy with his arms above his head, he was beaten in the back of the head with a club before the deputy released a Sheriff’s K-9 to attack him. After the attack, the deputies arrested Myles despite neighbors exonerating him –and the fact that authorities had detained another suspect who fit the description.

The trial focused on the Sheriff’s Department’s failure to investigate a pattern and practice of excessive force by Deputy Banks. 

Before the trial started, U.S. District Court Judge John Houston sanctioned San Diego County for “acting in bad faith” and not producing records that showed Deputy Banks was involved in at least seven incidents involving excessive force since 2015.

Attorney Daniel Balaban told ABC10 News, “the citizens of San Diego County deserve better, and this jury has sent a message that it’s time for the Sheriff’s Department to be held accountable for its inaction and failure to police its own.”

 Recent News Coverage

10 News – County of San Diego Faces $5 Million Excessive Force Verdict

CBS 8 – Jury Awards $5M to Man Beaten by San Diego Sheriff’s Deputies and Attacked by K-9 in 2014

San Diego Union Tribune – Jury Awards Man $5 Million in Fallbrook Sheriff’s Dog Bite Case in Which County Withheld Evidence

San Diego Today News – County of San Diego Faces $5 Million Excessive Force Verdict- ABC 10 News San Diego KGTV

Yahoo – County of San Diego Faces $5 Million Excessive Force Verdict