(CN) – A man who suffered a fractured skull and a mangled face after police beat him for allegedly resisting arrest deserves the chance to argue excessive force in court even though his conviction stands, the 5th Circuit ruled.
Police arrested Ty Evans for attempting to strangle someone to death. The officers beat Evans for resisting arrest, resulting in three surgeries and bone grafts to repair damages to his head and face.
A state court convicted Evans of attempted murder and resisting arrest despite Evan’s claims that he was not resisting the officers. Evans filed suit accusing the officers of violating his 4th Amendment rights by using excessive force.
The district court ruled in favor of the officers because Evans’s assertion that he did not oppose being taken into custody contradicts his conviction.
The three-judge appeals panel disagreed. “Evans’s situation illustrates how a 4th Amendment claim can co-exist with a valid conviction,” wrote Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook.
The Indianapolis-based panel ruled that Evans need not maintain he did nothing wrong in order to prove that he was a victim of excessive force.