A man with a long history of domestic violence is suing the city of Greenwood for $1 million, alleging that officers stomped him, shocked him with a Taser and used Mace on him during a 2009 arrest.
John Hancock — who couldn’t sign his name on court documents because of an injury to his hand — filed the lawsuit Thursday in Leflore County Circuit Court.
His attorney, Carlos Moore of Grenada, faxed copies to the media the next day.
The lawsuit alleges that Hancock was lying on the couch of his former girlfriend on May 20, 2009, when officers from the Leflore County Sheriff’s Department and Greenwood Police Department knocked and entered.
It states that Greenwood police officers Byron Granderson and Jesse Amos attacked Hancock “throwing him to the floor, tasering him, choking him and spraying him with Mace.”
The lawsuit alleges that Granderson stomped Hancock’s hand and that Amos broke his wrist.
Hancock was arrested and charged with felony domestic violence, simple assault, possession of a stolen vehicle and two counts of kidnapping.
The lawsuit claims that those were false charges and that Hancock spent more than a year in Delta Correctional Facility, a now-closed state prison in Greenwood, before the charges were dismissed.
The lawsuit claims a violation of Hancock’s civil rights, excessive force and infliction of emotional distress.
The lawsuit asks for a jury trial, but Hancock may not make a sympathetic figure: He’s been convicted three times of domestic violence in the past five years and has another charge pending for felony domestic violence.
In May 2009, Hancock was convicted in Greenwood Municipal Court of two counts of assault/domestic violence. He was fined $460 and ordered to attend counseling.
Then in March 2010, a Leflore County grand jury indicted Hancock on two charges of felony domestic violence and one count of possession of a stolen firearm.
He pleaded guilty in June 2010 to two reduced counts of misdemeanor simple domestic violence. He was given credit for time served and ordered to pay $800 in fines and attorney fees. The gun charge was dismissed.
Most recently, a grand jury indicted Hancock on March 18 on a charge of felony domestic violence. He allegedly punched his former girlfriend, Carol Silas, in the face on Sept. 14, 2011.
Hancock is currently out on $20,000 bond on that charge.
In filing for a court-appointed attorney, Hancock could only make a mark on documents instead of a signature because of injuries to his hand. Of course, the more famous John Hancock (1737-1793) famously signed the Declaration of Independence in large letters.
This John Hancock, 37, has an addressed listed of 3033 Ridgeway Road in Memphis on the lawsuit. He’s had several addresses in the Greenwood area listed during his more than a dozen arrests over the past decade.
He was charged with aggravated assault in 2006 after allegedly intentionally running over Silas’ leg with a car. That case was never prosecuted.
Greenwood Police Chief Henry Purnell could not be reached for comment this morning. City Attorney Don Brock and Chief Administrative Officer Thomas Gregory said they hadn’t yet received notice of the lawsuit.
Moore has a lengthy history of representing clients in lawsuits against the city and its police.
- Contact Charlie Smith at 581-7235 or firstname.lastname@example.org.