Police Beat Man in Diabetic Shock – and Nevada City Pays for It

By Maria Nikias

Feb 8, 2012 4:14pm

A Nevada city will pay a diabetic man $158,500 after police beat him while he was in diabetic shock, thinking he was a drunken driver.

The Henderson, Nev., city council approved the settlement on Tuesday for the physical and emotional distress endured in late 2010 by the man, who asked not to be identified.

“It’s alarming and it’s egregious,”  the man’s attorney, Todd Moody, told ABC 13 Action News. “It will make you a little sick to your stomach watching it.”

The incident was caught by the dash cam of a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper present during the incident, which began as a chase in the early morning hours of Oct. 29, 2010. Police suspected the man was driving drunk.

It was not clear why the man led police on a chase.

The video showed that once the car was pulled over, police officers swarmed the driver and began kicking him.

“Stop resisting motherf****r. Stop resisting motherf****r,” an officer yelled as the man lay on the ground.

However, the man was not drunk – he was suffering a diabetic episode. Insulin shock can mimic the symptoms of intoxication.

“They should have been aware of that,” Moody told ABC 13. “They should have been trained on how to handle that and I think they made some assumptions that were wrong.”

Later in the video, the officers appeared to realize the man wasn’t drunk and called for medical help.

“We found some insulin in his pocket,” said an officer. “Tell them to expedite. He’s semi-conscious.”

The $158,000 settlement was in addition to a $99,000 settlement for the man’s wife and $35,000 from the state of Nevada for civil rights violations.

An officer seen in the video kicking the diabetic motorist is Sgt. Brett Seekatz, who has been with the Henderson Police Department since August 2002, ABC 13 reported.

Officials wouldn’t specify how or if Seekatz was disciplined over the incident, saying the information is a personnel matter and will not be released. He remains a member of the Henderson Police Department.

However, the department issued a statement noting changes since the incident.

“Henderson Police Chief Jutta Chambers ordered a closer look at the training Henderson officers receive,” the statement read. “The training on use of force techniques was subsequently modified.”

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