A worker at a corner market has accused a Kansas City police officer of battery for using a stun gun to subdue him during a confrontation over a parking violation.
Damian Words alleges in a civil lawsuit that Officer Dale Secor allowed the situation involving a parking ticket to unnecessarily escalate. The incident happened about midday May 31, 2014, near the Short Stop Mini Mart at 3201 E. 51st St.
Secor violated department policies and officer training when he used his stun gun after Words refused to comply with his commands, according to the lawsuit filed last month in Jackson County Circuit Court.
“This battery and injury to Mr. Words occurred because the officer by his training and the rules of the police department should have de-escalated the situation, but instead he escalated it to violence,” said Arthur Benson, the attorney representing Words. “And then he lied about it in his report.”
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Secor could not be reached for comment. He is being represented by the Missouri attorney general’s office. A spokeswoman declined to comment because of the pending lawsuit.
Secor has been with police department since January 1997 and is assigned to the Metro Patrol Division.
According to police, Secor noticed a white Buick Regal illegally parked on the sidewalk. Because the car had dark tinted windows, Secor could not see if anyone was inside. He opened the unlocked driver’s side door.
Words walked out of the store and yelled that Secor had no right to get into his car and to get away from it.
According to the police report, Secor said Words became upset and aggressive. He told Words that his vehicle was illegally parked and repeatedly asked to see his identification.
Words refused and “bladed his body and got into a power stance,” according to the incident report.
Secor fired his stun gun, striking Words in the left upper chest and left forearm.
Words was cited for illegal parking, resisting arrest and failing to comply with an officer. He pleaded guilty in January on an illegal parking citation and paid a $50 fine.
In the civil lawsuit, Words said he posed no threat to the officer and was leaning against the Buick before Secor deployed his stun gun.
“Secor was antagonistic, defensive and refused to listen to anything Words tried to tell him in mitigation and explanation of his responsibilities at the store,” according to the lawsuit. “He could not turn his back on a store with a door unlocked and customers wandering in and out of it, even when Words attempted a gentler approach.”
Words alleges he suffered physically and emotionally and still has nightmares about the incident. He is seeking unspecified damages.