Lake City activist suing Hamilton Co. sheriff’s office after deputy kneeled on his neck
LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) -Lake city activist Sylvester Warren and his lawyer Lucas Taylor are pursuing an excessive force lawsuit against the Hamilton County sheriff’s office.
On December 17, warren says he was watching his niece play at a basketball game when Hamilton County sheriff’s deputy Sam McDonald confronted him. According to the sheriff’s office, Warren and a group were told to leave.
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When Warren refused to leave, Deputy McDonald used force to remove him. The incident was caught on camera and now Warren has hired an attorney.
“This was unnecessary, it was excessive and we want that to be brought to light in front of a jury in Hamilton county ultimately,” said Attorney Lucas Taylor. “We’ve provided the Hamilton county sheriff’s office with the necessary pre-filing notice requirements to bring a lawsuit into the state of Florida against a governmental entity under Florida statute 7.68.28 and that was served on them on the 27th so there’s a six-month waiting period.”
While they wait for the sheriff’s office to respond, Warren said he suffered head and neck injuries and is still seeking medical attention. He also said the abuse didn’t stop in the gym, he says he’s been receiving multiple threats.
“My grandmother, my mom, and my brothers say they want me to have 24-hour security because this is an ongoing thing as an activist with getting threats and this type of treatment from law enforcement, said Warren. “Also hopefully get justice with this officer as well. I consider it to be battery and assault and if I would’ve done it to him I would be in jail.”
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Hamilton county sheriff Herell Reid tells us deputy McDonald was also hurt and is not back at the office. There are currently no charges against Warren but a request was sent to the state attorney’s office for a warrant for Warren’s arrest.
Warren and his lawyer have already sent a notice of a potential lawsuit to the sheriff’s office.
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