^
Keep New Times Free
4

BSO Tased and Beat Black Boca Man, Then Charged Him With Resisting Arrest, Lawsuit Claims

Lagoge Graham had the bad luck of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The 26-year-old Boca Raton resident was sitting in his car outside an apartment complex in Deerfield Beach just after a woman called to say that she’d heard five gunshots outside.

Four minutes later, a patrol car from the Broward Sheriff’s Office pulled up, and Graham was ordered out of the car and told to place his hands on the trunk. When he suggested the officers didn’t have a warrant to search his car or probable cause to arrest him, Officer Michael De La Nuez pulled out his Taser.

According to a lawsuit Graham recently filed against the BSO, De La Nuez shot him with the Taser and forced him to the ground. He continued to tase Graham while the other deputies joined in, kicking and punching him. Finally, they handcuffed Graham and took him to the Broward County jail, where he was charged with resisting arrest and battery of a law enforcement officer. Both charges were later thrown out.

Graham has no criminal record in Broward County and only a speeding ticket from 2008 in Palm Beach County. De La Nuez has two prior complaints dating from 2010 and 2012: a charge of not being courteous towards the public, and a charge of failing to safeguard a person in his custody. In both cases, the department ruled in his favor. In 2012, he was involved in what the department deemed a preventable accident, and recommended for driver improvement training. 

It’s worth noting that Graham is black, but attorney Kevin Anderson, who represents him, doesn’t believe race was a factor in the incident. Still, it’s hard not to see the parallels to the recent shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as well as countless other encounters when black men have been killed or seriously injured during what should have been straightforward police stops.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

“We do understand the gravity of shots being fired in the community,” says Anderson, Graham's lawyer. “But it’s beyond me why there had to be that level of force used against Mr. Graham. No one had a weapon; no one did anything that was threatening.”

Graham, who declined to comment for this story, is asking for damages in excess of $15,000. The Broward Sheriff's Office also declined to comment, as is its policy when there is pending litigation.

You can see the full text of the lawsuit below:

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.