Plaintiff in $500,000 Excessive Force Lawsuit: Springfield Cop ‘Stomped His Face 6 or 7 Times’ as he Yelled ‘Stop’

SPRINGFIELD – A 23-year-old city man has filed a $500,000 lawsuit against Springfield police and the city for an alleged beating officers delivered after a traffic pursuit in 2015.

SPRINGFIELD — A 23-year-old city man has filed the latest excessive force lawsuit against the police department and the city, arguing officers stomped on his face, kicked and beat him with batons, and pepper-sprayed him in the face after a vehicle chase in 2015.

A complaint filed Oct. 10 in U.S. District Court by Tyrique Tyndal-Davis names five patrolmen, Police Commissioner John Barbieri and the city as defendants.

The lawsuit includes a $500,000 demand.

Officers cited in the lawsuit are Victor Allder, David Robillard, John Ruyffelaert, Patrick Denault and Daniel Billingsley.

While the lawsuit says Tyndal-Davis cooperated with police, the arrest report says he disregarded officers’ commands. He was subsequently acquitted on criminal charges related to the incident.

Tyndal-Davis’s lawsuit says he was a passenger in a car that was “driving erratically” during a police chase. The car nearly hit pursuing members of the police department, the complaint states.

The driver of the car, who is not identified in the lawsuit, “abandoned the vehicle while it was still in motion,” according to the lawsuit.

Gripped with fear, Tyndal-Davis says he fled the car on foot and hid at the bottom of a nearby stairwell at 124 Northampton Ave.

Allder and Robillard found him crouched at the bottom of the stairs, the complaint says. Allder pulled his gun while approaching Tyndal-Davis, but quickly holstered it and began to beat the man, according to the complaint.

“As defendant Victor Allder came within feet of plaintiff Tyrique Tyndal-Davis he put the handgun away and began to accost (Tyndal-Davis),” the lawsuit says.

Tyndal-Davis argues he complied with officers’ commands to sit on the ground with his hands up, but the beating continued. Allder kicked him in the side of the face, the lawsuit says.

“Tyndal-Davis states Allder then proceeded to stomp on his face approximately six or seven times while he yelled for him to stop,” the complaint reads.

Robillard and Ruyffelaert began hitting the plaintiff in his legs with their police batons, according to Tyndal-Davis, who also took a shot to the groin, according to the lawsuit.

Generally, Tyndal-Davis argues he was attempting to comply with officers’ commands after he fled — but officers argue he was resisting arrest, the complaint says.

After Tyndal-Davis was placed in a police cruiser in handcuffs, Allder pepper-sprayed him in the face, it adds.

The settlement comes as a grand jury considers indicting accused police officers.

During an internal affairs investigation, Denault said he never saw Tyndal-Davis get sprayed with the chemical during the arrest, the lawsuit says.

“Billingsley authored a police report that intentionally misrepresented the actions of the police and Tyndal-Davis,” it reads.

Ryan Walsh, spokesman for the Springfield Police Department, said he was not permitted to provide arrest reports. However, the report is on file with the court.

The report, dated Oct. 12, 2015, says police began to pursue the car Tyndal-Davis was riding in because it fit the description of a Kia that had been “involved in numerous shootings in the past and had been driven by (name redacted).”

There had been a report that evening involving a black male who flashed a firearm at someone, according to the narrative.

The police report says the driver and multiple passengers began to bail out of the car as it rolled down Massachusetts Avenue. It largely follows Tyndal-Davis’ version of events but says he refused to comply with police commands — specifically not showing his hands at various junctures prior to his arrest.

Tyndal-Davis stood trial in Springfield District Court on charges of driving with a suspended license, failure to stop for police, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, assault with a deadly weapon and assault and battery of a police officer.

At trial, the defense presented evidence of Tyndal-Davis’ clothes, which reeked of the smell of the chemical spray, despite Denault’s argument that he never saw Tyndal-Davis being pepper-sprayed, the complaint reads.

Tyndal-Davis was found not guilty on all charges, the lawsuit adds.

Plaintiff’s attorney Joe A. Smith III says none of the officers involved in this set of allegations has been disciplined.

“Officers knew they would incur no significant risk of discipline or dismissal from employment for participating in or covering up the assault and battery of the plaintiff, because all officers were aware of the policy and practices of the (city and Barbieri), of conducting superficial investigations of allegations of constitutional violations by the officers and not disciplining its police officers for such violations,” the lawsuit argues.

Billingsley is at the center of an ongoing investigation into a 2015 brawl between a group of off-duty police officers and civilians. A dispute over a woman allegedly first erupted at Nathan Bill’s bar and restaurant and reconvened after hours in the parking lot of a nearby Rocky’s hardware store.

That incident remains under investigation by a state grand jury. And — although a federal lawsuit over that matter resulted in an $885,000 taxpayer-funded payout to multiple civilian plaintiffs — none of those officers have been disciplined, either.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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