Ferndale, MI Lt. Gary Whiting allegedly beats a prisoner
Case: MALORY v. WHITING, 11-1468 (6th Cir. 7-13-2012) (unpublished)
The confrontation at the center of this case occurred when Plaintiff was booked at the police station. Lieutenant Gary Whiting was the officer in charge of the station. Whiting and Officer Joseph Gentilia were among a number of officers in the area where Plaintiff was being booked and photographed. Defendant Whiting stood behind the booking counter. Defendant Gentilia entered Plaintiff’s personal information into the police computer system and took Plaintiff’s fingerprints. When it came time for Plaintiff to sign the form that would allow him to receive his property, Whiting examined Plaintiff’s wallet. He began removing the contents and tossing them onto the counter. Plaintiff protested, to which Whiting responded, “I do what the fuck I want to do.” . . . Plaintiff then initialed his property form. Whiting instructed Plaintiff to sign his entire name, even though another officer conducting the booking expressed no concern about the initials. Plaintiff retorted that while he served in the Marine Corps, it was sufficient to sign forms with his initials. Whiting persisted with his instruction. Plaintiff then signed the form with an “x,” which he testified that he meant as a joke. Whiting expressed irritation, pointing to Plaintiff’s signature on two state identification cards found in Plaintiff’s wallet and stating that Plaintiff signed his full name on those cards. Whiting called Plaintiff a “smart ass” and cut up the identification cards. . . . Whiting ordered Plaintiff to take his clothes off, so he could be searched before being placed in a cell. Plaintiff understood the order as a command to strip naked. Plaintiff told Whiting that he thought taking off all of his clothes would be inappropriate, because a female officer was in the area. Plaintiff proceeded to remove his coat, polo shirt (under which Plaintiff was wearing a thermal shirt), and his belt. He placed his belt over his shoulder. Whiting apparently became concerned when Plaintiff put his belt over his shoulder. Officer Whiting walked out from behind the booking counter, stood behind Plaintiff, and instructed Plaintiff to place his hands behind his back. Plaintiff complied, and Whiting took hold of Plaintiff’s hands. Whiting grabbed Plaintiff’s neck and shoved him into the booking counter. Then, Whiting reached for Plaintiff’s right ankle and pulled it out from under him. Whiting pulled Plaintiff to the ground. Once Plaintiff lay on the ground face down, Whiting put his knee on Plaintiff’s left temple and “started driving” his knee into Plaintiff’s left ear. . . . While Whiting held Plaintiff on the ground, Gentilia handcuffed one of Plaintiff’s wrists. Plaintiff testified that he extended his other wrist to enable the officer to handcuff it. Gentilia instead stood on that wrist and punched Plaintiff several times in the ribs. Plaintiff felt the other officers pulling at his arms and legs. Plaintiff’s free wrist was then handcuffed, and officers cut off his thermal shirt, shoelaces, and socks. The officers then gave Plaintiff back his polo shirt to put on and moved him into a holding cell. Plaintiff asked for medical care and the ability to make a phone call, but he received neither. A friend arrived to pick Plaintiff up but was turned away. Plaintiff appeared before a judge the next day. The judge set bond, which Plaintiff paid. Plaintiff then received treatment at a Veterans Affairs hospital. Plaintiff claims he suffered several injuries as a result of the incident, including aggravation of his depression and anxiety disorder, headaches, hearing loss, and a torn eardrum, which required the insertion of a hearing tube.
(footnotes and record cites omitted)