The Kansas City Police Department has agreed to pay a $75,000 settlement to a man after a police officer dragged him out of his car by his arm during a traffic stop in 2014.
The first of the two incidents began shortly after 7 a.m. on May 2, 2014, when police officers pulled over Michael Simmons and a female passenger. In the video, Officer Shannon Hansen approaches the car and quickly pulls Simmons out, dragging him on the road and threatening to break his arm off. Also present is Officer Jacob Harris.
Over the next several minutes, Hansen berates Simmons and the woman, calling them “f***ing meth-head mother-f******” and mocking their alleged drug use.
After finding a needle on Simmons, Hansen says, “I’m going to take a knife and cut your f***ing throat from ear to f***ing ear.”
The $75,000 settlement in that case was reached earlier this month.
Hansen is no longer with the department. Harris is on an administrative assignment, according to Capt. Stacey Graves, a spokeswoman for the police department.
“This is a topic we take very seriously and have safeguards in place … to prevent such incidents from occurring,” Graves said in a statement. “We (KCPD) have policies and procedures in place that address officers’ use of force. All officers are trained in the proper application of necessary force. It is also part of our training to intervene should an officer observe another officer using excessive force.”
The video of Simmons’ arrest came to light as attorney Tom Porto researched Manuel Palacio’s complaint against Hansen and Harris.
About an hour after Simmons’ arrest, officers Hansen and Harris were among those who arrested Palacio, 25, at Independence and Cypress avenues. During that arrest, also captured on video, the officers beat Palacio as he lay on the ground even though, by his own account, he complied with their commands.
The officers threatened to send Palacio to the hospital and give his mother’s address to his enemies. The department settled that case for $300,000.
Porto represented both Simmons and Palacio. “I just hope that these actions don’t detract from the good work that Kansas City police officers do every day,” Porto said.
After a police investigation of the Palacio arrest, Hansen pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of harassment and was sentenced to two years of probation along with 30 days of shock time in jail.
For Harris, the May 2 arrests were not the first time he had been accused of excessive force. He had been a defendant in a 2009 lawsuit brought by Dandridge Washington, whose beating during an arrest was also captured on video.
The department settled with Washington for $300,000, which means Harris has had a part in excessive force settlements totaling $675,000.