A Greenwood man has filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court in Greenville against Police Chief Ray Moore, officer Jerry Williams and an unidentified officer, claiming they violated his Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and 14th amendment rights during an arrest in January.

Gianni Williams, 28, 507 Ave. K, claims in the suit that he was followed by Jerry Williams for two blocks as he was driving home on Jan. 30. The suit claims he was pulled over and told he had twice failed to use his turn signal before he was told to lie on the ground and was handcuffed.

Gianni Williams claims Jerry Williams called for backup, and when an unidentified officer arrived, they both physically assaulted him. The suit says he didn’t receive his Miranda rights, and neither officer tried to stop the attack or offer him assistance. It claims he was shot several times with a stun gun until he was placed in the squad car.

The suit, which is one side of a legal argument, claims the officers took a cellphone belonging to Williams’ wife, T’andriyah Harris, in order to destroy evidence of the harassment and beating.

His car was towed away, and he was taken to Leflore County Jail, the lawsuit claims.

“The officers later returned and plaintiff discovered that one of the officers had planted marijuana in his vehicle to establish probable cause for the initial stop by Officer Williams,” the suit claims.

The suit names Moore as a defendant because he was the commanding officer at the time and “failed to keep Gianni Williams safe from harm caused by the acts of those under his command.”

Williams is being represented by lawyer Carlos E. Moore of The Cochran Firm in Grenada. The city, as a rule, does not comment on pending litigation.

The Fourth Amendment protects a citizen’s right against unreasonable searches and seizures.  The Fifth Amendment grants citizens the right to not testify against themselves or be tried twice for the same offense. The Eighth Amendment protects against unusual punishments being inflicted. The 14th Amendment grants all citizens equal protection under the law.

Contact Gavin Maliska at 581-7235 or gmaliska@gwcommonwealth.com.

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