Two new federal lawsuits have been filed against the city of Waveland claiming various abuses by several current and former members of the police department.
The suits were filed individually on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Gulfport.
Attorney Bobby Moak of Bogue Chitto filed the complaints on behalf of Calvin “C.W.” Parker, and Tammy Holland.
“The defendants’ overall conduct on the date in question was so outrageous that it shocks the moral and legal conscience of the community,” Moak said Parker’s suit. “Because of those actions, he was violated and unable to live a peaceful, un-fearful, and normal lifestyle.”
Moak said Tuesday that he has received many complaints over the past few years about the conduct of Waveland police officers.
The new lawsuits come on the heels of three federal lawsuits filed against the city in December.
Those suits prompted Mayor David Garcia to strip officers of their Tasers, but it has apparently not stopped the lawsuits from coming.
“The city of Waveland appears to be taking positive movements with their new administration,” Moak said. “But it does not affect what happened in the past.”
City attorney Gary Yarborough said Tuesday that he had not yet had a chance to view the new suits.
The city is a member of the Mississippi Municipal Liability Insurance Plan. Previous claims against the city have been handled by MMLIP attorneys in Jackson.
Parker, 73, was the first of the five clients Moak represents.
In September 2008, Parker was stopped in front of the Coast Inn on Highway 90 by Officer Clay Necaise. A short time later, Parker was arrested and in handcuffs when he was stunned twice with a Taser.
During testimony at Parker’s trial in Waveland Municipal Court, Necaise said that Parker had cursed him, and that he was being “belligerent.”
“It’s been a long time since I have seen someone so belligerent and non-compliant,” Officer Patrick Barber testified. “Mr. Parker was irate. He was wanting to argue about why he was stopped. He was extremely belligerent.”
During the trial, Moak quizzed Necaise on how many times he had used his Taser in the previous seven months.
Necaise would only say “it was less than 100 times.”
Two Hancock County sheriff’s deputies testified that Parker was cooperating with police when they were on the scene, but they had left before the Taser incident.
Former Municipal Judge Frank Whittmann found Parker guilty of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Barber no longer works in Waveland, and Necaise has not worked there in several months.
However, Necaise still has an active civil service complaint with the city, officials said.
The second suit was filed on behalf of local resident Tammy Holland.
Holland was the girlfriend of Doyle Dahl, who also has a pending lawsuit against the police department.
Moak also represents Dahl.
On March 31, 2008 Holland and Dahl were stopped on Highway 90 on suspicion of DUI.
Dahl admitted to Officer Jeff Guilliot and other officers that he had been at Bubba’s Bar drinking earlier in the evening while waiting for Holland to get off work, a police report said.
After arresting Dahl for suspicion of DUI, Holland was told she could call a cab and go home, the report said.
Instead, she became belligerent with officers, the report said.
Holland appeared to be “extremely intoxicated and refused to get out of the car,” the report said.
The suit paints a different picture than the officers’ account.
Moak claims that officers Eddie Besse and Guillot “inflicted offensive contact to her person.”
“The offensive contact was intended to harm Tammy Holland and/or unnecessarily inflict explicit acts and contact, suffering and distress upon her body,” the suit said.
Tuesday’s filings bring the total number of open federal lawsuits against the city to six. There are also two open suits against the city in Hancock County Circuit Court and, two other federal suits were settled last year. ;
By Dwayne Bremer
The Sea Coast Echo