Civil Liberties

Double-Leg Amputee Suing Nebraska Police for Harassment During Apparently Unwarranted Traffic Stop

Says cops teased him and called him a "cripple" after making him lose his prosthetic legs


double amputee roughed up by cops
La'Terria Duffie

Leroy Duffie, who is a pastor and a double-leg amputee, alleges that police used excessive force on him during an apparently unwarranted traffic stop in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska Disability Rights, which is helping Duffie, says police broke his teeth and tore his rotator cuff and that Duffie also needs treatment for trauma resulting from the police encounter. The Huffington Post reports:

According to the suit, Duffie was pulled over for no apparent reason, and police with guns drawn demanded that he exit the van with his hands up. Duffie explained that his two prosthetic legs prevented him from raising his arms and getting out at the same time.

Police insisted, and Duffie tumbled out of the captain's seat, losing his legs while smashing his head and shoulder against the pavement. Cops jammed their knees into his back and handcuffed him as he cried out in pain. Without reasonable suspicion, the suit contends, police searched his van while other officers teased him, allegedly calling him a "cripple crawling around."

After 30 minutes and a search that yielded nothing, police finally uncuffed Duffie and let him crawl under his van to retrieve his legs, according to court documents.

Duffie is suing for violation of his civil rights and diminished income earning capacity, and the city won't comment because the matter is pending litigation.