ACLU files lawsuit against KCPD officer alleging excessive force

Posted at 10:19 AM, Oct 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-05 16:59:01-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A former Kansas City, Missouri, police officer faces an excessive force lawsuit from a 2013 incident.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit, which names former officer Jordan Nelson, in U.S. District Court this week.

Kansas City police stopped Joshua Bills near 34th Street and Garfield Avenue on Dec. 6, 2013, on a report of a suspicious person.

Dash camera video shows Bills pulled his hands out of his pockets and kept them at his side.

Five officers approach him. The video shows Nelson — who was employed by KCPD from Jan. 26, 2009, until Jan. 16, 2016 — perform what's described in the lawsuit as a "leg sweep" and slams Bills into the concrete sidewalk resulting in a facial injury.
"It's been five years and this is something that still troubles him I think everyday, he thinks about it all the time," Gillian Wilcox, an attorney for ACLU of Missouri, said. "His interactions with any authoritative figure are different because of that, it's just something that hasn't left him because of the severity of what happened."
Last October, 41 Action News investigators learned that KCPD has paid out at least $5.9 million in excessive force settlements since 2012.
"No one should be treated this way, excessive force should not be used and other officers should hold their fellow officers accountable when they see this happening which is not what happened in this case," Wilcox said.
KCPD released the following statement:
"While the KCPD is not named as being the entity sued, we will certainly be involved in the litigation process.  It is within the courtroom walls where examination of all the facts and circumstance will take place.  As a result, the KCPD will respect the legal process without interference of discussing details outside of those proceedings."

Read the lawsuit here.