A man who pleaded guilty to stealing is suing Kansas City police, claiming they used excessive force in arresting him.
Manuel Palacio, 24, alleges that officers kneed him in the back, beat him in the ribs and made verbal threats during the arrest on the morning of May 2, 2014, at Independence and East Cypress avenues.
The lawsuit names Officers Shannon Hansen and Jacob Harris and Sgt. Todd Hall. Hansen is no longer with the department. According to a court record and a police statement, Harris and Hall are on administrative assignments during a criminal investigation.
Palacio matched the description of a suspect in a reported armed street robbery when police spotted him. A dashcam video shows police driving onto the sidewalk and striking Palacio with the vehicle before an officer gets out with his gun drawn. Placio complies with an order to get on the ground and police handcuff him.
Never miss a local story.
“Defendant Officer Harris then told Plaintiff not to say another word, and if Plaintiff did, he was ‘going to the hospital,’ ” according to the lawsuit.
“Defendant Officer Hansen then yelled at Plaintiff that Hansen was giving the alleged (robbery) victim ‘your address, and you mom’s (expletive) address and everybody’s address that you know and I hope his family comes over and takes a (expletive) ball bat to your (expletive) head, mother (expletive).”
The suit contends Palacio did not resist arrest and was unarmed.
The police department issued a terse response.
“The department became aware of a possible case of police misconduct several weeks ago,” the statement said. “KCPD immediately initiated a criminal investigation, and it is ongoing at this time.”
According to court documents in the criminal case against Palacio, the police department gave the video to his attorney in April. The prosecutor’s office did not view it until September. When it did, the office advised the police department that it warranted an investigation. Police advised prosecutors on Oct. 5 that the department was investigating the matter.
That same day the state asked the court to seal the video, but Palacio pleaded guilty to one count of stealing before the court ruled on that motion. He was sentenced to five years in prison.