Los Angeles County is set to pay nearly $5 million to a Black man who was allegedly brutally beaten by multiple sheriff’s deputies during a traffic stop a few years ago.
Christopher Bailey filed a lawsuit in 2021 against the L.A . County Sheriff’s Department and the deputies connected to the incident that resulted in him suffering severe injuries, according to KABC.
In May 2020, Bailey was on his way home from work when he was stopped by law enforcement in Inglewood at approximately 2 a.m. He was reportedly pulled over after being accused of straddling lanes.
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Bailey, who was unarmed, alleged that two of the deputies grabbed him out of his vehicle and “without warning, proceeded to assault and batter” him, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing the lawsuit.
Shortly after, four more deputies also got involved. The lawsuit claimed that he was restrained in a chokehold, punched, shocked, and kicked during the encounter, the outlet reported. The incident left him with vision loss, facial injuries, and damaged teeth.
“I was screaming saying ‘I want to live,” Bailey said during an interview with Inside Edition in 2021. “They were trying to hurt me physically. Choking me, kicking me, punching me.”
Footage taken by an eyewitness on the scene after the incident shows Bailey on the ground and surrounded by several deputies before being placed on a gurney. His face appears to be bloody and swollen. The witness described it as “deformed” in their deposition and said “he doesn’t even look human” in the video.
“He sustained 64 to 86 total body and face hits. He was pummeled in the face approximately 35 to 44 times,” Bailey’s attorney, Toni Jaramilla, previously said when announcing the lawsuit, KABC reported. “This was just a beatdown. This was a gang-like beatdown of a Black citizen.”
After the incident, authorities argued that Bailey resisted the arrest, but his attorneys said he complied with their orders, per the outlet. He was charged, but they were eventually dropped. As the Times noted, he pleaded no contest to a separate misdemeanor charge after prosecutors said he had 3 pounds of marijuana inside his vehicle during the time of the incident.
According to the report, the deputies involved were not charged. However, earlier this week, the county’s Board of Supervisors awarded Bailey $4.75 million on Tuesday.