Pullman, WA – The Pullman Police Department has released video footage of the 2016 arrest of former Washington State University football player Treshon Broughton, who has filed a lawsuit against the agency alleging that officers used excessive force during the encounter (video below).
Broughton became combative with police after a liquor store clerk allegedly busted him trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill, The Spokesman-Review reported.
The incident began at Bob’s Corner Market at approximately 1:48 a.m. on Feb. 18, 2016, when Broughton, who was allegedly intoxicated, attempted to pay for wine and malt liquor using the counterfeit cash, according to The Spokesman-Review.
The clerk said he immediately recognized that the bill was fake, and called a second employee over to confirm his suspicions.
Broughton then began arguing with other customers who were waiting in line, so a store employee called 911.
During the call, the employee said things had calmed down and that police were no longer needed.
Pullman Police Officer Shane Emerson arrived at the store approximately two minutes later, and Broughton walked back into the store behind him.
Bodycam footage showed Broughton as he walked past a long line of customers and interrupted a man who was in the middle of a transaction with the clerk.
The irritated customer told him to wait, but Broughton ignored him and told the clerk he had forgotten his debit card there earlier in the night and wanted it back.
The clerk handed some items to him, and told the officer that Broughton had “used a fake twenty” during the previous transaction.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah…I mean,” Broughton said.
Officer Emerson then asked him for his identification.
“I got I.D. with me. It’s probably somewhere around but…” the suspect replied.
The officer told him he needed to show it to him.
“You can see whatever. I don’t care, bro,” Broughton replied, seemingly distracted by items on the counter.
Officer Emerson started to grab the suspect’s arm, but Broughton jerked his elbow into the air and raised his hands, the video showed.
“Put your hands behind your back,” the officer ordered.
“No! You said ‘show me your I.D.,’ Broughton argued. “Didn’t you say that?”
With the situation quickly escalating, the officer again ordered Broughton to place his hands behind his back, and told him he was not concerned about his I.D. at the moment.
In an arrest report, Officer Emerson noted that Broughton appeared to be intoxicated during the encounter, and that his behavior caused the officer to believe he might have attempted to flee, The Spokesman-Review reported.
“I did not feel comfortable with his resistance and felt it was prudent to fully detain him,” the officer’s report read.
Officer Alex Gordon then arrived at the scene, but Broughton continued to resist their efforts to arrest him.
“Officer Gordon attempted to place Broughton into a lateral vascular neck restraint and Broughton was able to get out of his hold,” Officer Emerson’s report read, according to The Spokesman-Review.
“We took Broughton to the ground and he remained on his knees, pushing up with his arms,” he continued. “For the record, Broughton was a member of the 2016 WSU football team and from my training and experience appeared exceptionally strong.”
The officers scuffled with Broughton on the floor for several moments before Officer Gordon warned him he was about to be tased.
He then deployed his Taser into the upper portion of the suspect’s back.
The officers were then able to place Broughton into handcuffs.
Police attempted to recover the counterfeit money immediately after Broughton's arrest, but the clerks said they did not know where it had gone.
Broughton, who was charged with obstructing law enforcement and resisting arrest, continued to be combative even at the jail, The Spokesman-Review reported.
According to police, Broughton began screaming and kicked the door of his jail cell, then stripped to his underwear and flooded his cell by jamming his toilet.
He was placed in a restraint chair on two occasions.
In June of 2017, a Whitman County District Court judge dismissed the charges at the request of prosecution.
Broughton filed a federal lawsuit against the department on Oct. 30, alleging that the officers “prepared police reports which intentionally misrepresented events” in order to justify his arrest, KXLY reported.
“Before Broughton had time to comply with the demand for identification, Officer Emerson grabbed Broughton’s arm and started to physically assault Broughton and forced Broughton to the ground,” the lawsuit alleged, according to The Spokesman-Review.
The suit also accused the officers of using a “significantly violent level of force” by deploying the Taser, and claimed that officers threw Broughton to the ground while was handcuffed.
In a $5 million tort claim rejected by the city of Pullman prior to the lawsuit, Broughton said that, as a result of the arrest, he has “suffered emotional distress which, among other things, resulted in him being unable to attend a professional football scouting event and eliminated any change of [him] being recruited to a professional football team,” The Spokesman-Review reported.
According to the lawsuit, Broughton suffered damages that “include, but are not limited to, medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of freedom, bodily injury and injury to his reputation.”
You can watch footage of the officers’ encounter with Broughton in the video below: