Tuesday, October 3, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Tennessee Man Complains of Police Beating

(CN) - A Tennessee man says two police officers used excessive force while arresting him, and later beat him while he was suffering from a mental episode in the jail drunk tank.

Andrew Lovingood sued Monroe County, Tenn. and police officers Bill Johnson and Derrick Graves in Nashville Federal Court.

Lovingood says he was driving on a Monroe County highway last April when he noticed Johnson's squad car was following him. He pulled over to ask Johnson why he was being followed and Johnson asked for Lovingood's driver license, according to the complaint. Johnson then followed Lovingood again and decided to arrest him.

"About that time, defendant officer Derrick Graves pulled up as well. Both of these defendant officers jumped on plaintiff, put him on the ground, hit him in the face, and choked him before applying a Tazer to his lips once he was subdued," the lawsuit states. "The handcuffs were placed on plaintiff's wrists too tightly resulting in excruciating pain and some scarring."

Once at the jail, officers bypassed booking and a mug shot and took Lovingood directly to the drunk tank, according to the lawsuit. Lovingood says he was then assaulted during a breakdown.

"He was placed in the drunk tank which has a concrete stoop around the edge of the entire cell. Plaintiff then sat on the concrete ledge, not moving at all, frozen in a fetal position and staring blankly into space, clearly having a mental illness episode," the complaint states. "Several officers came in, including defendant officers Johnson and Graves, and began to beat up on plaintiff, causing him serious injuries."

Lovingood claims he was hospitalized for a week after the alleged attack. He alleges Monroe County did not properly train Johnson and Graves, who he says were fired when a new sheriff took over.

Lovingood seeks $1 million in compensatory damages and $100,000 in punitive damages. He is represented by John Eldridge in Knoxville.

Categories / Uncategorized

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.