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Newman civil lawsuit against officers goes to jury
BEAUMONT - A federal jury began deliberating Monday morning in a civil trial stemming from Derrick Newman's lawsuit accusing two Beaumont police officers of violating his civil rights during a traffic stop.
Stay with KFDM and kfdm.com for updates on the deliberations.
Todd Burke is now retired from the Beaumont Police Department. Cody Guedry remains on the police force. Separate juries convicted each of misdemeanor charges of official oppression. The convictions were later overturned. Both men are awaiting retrials but no date is set.
According to previous testimony in the criminal trial, Burke hit Derrick Newman 13 times with his police baton and Cody Guedry used his Taser twice on Newman. A dashboard camera on a police car captured video of the August 2007 traffic stop.
The officers say they were trying to control Newman during the traffic stop. Newman says they used too much force and it was unnecessary. His civil lawsuit is seeking medical and punitive damages.
During closing arguments, Newman's attorney, Langston Adams, told jurors, "we're not making this case about race. We're not saying this is racially motivated." He also told the jury, "you need someone who's not part of the brotherhood, not part of the blue shield, to evaluate police officers."
Craig Schexnider, the attorney for the officers, told the jury, "you can watch the video a hundred times and not see everything. Something occurred to cause all this to happen." He also told the jury, "police don't have time to call King's X. They have to react."