Las Vegas police must pay $2.1 million excessive force judgment

A federal jury awarded about $2.1 million in damages Thursday to a Las Vegas man who alleged three police officers subjected him to excessive force in 2001.

Charles Barnard filed the civil rights lawsuit in 2003 against the Metropolitan Police Department and officers Greg Theobald, Steven Radmanovich and Gary Clark. The department later was dismissed from the case.

The officers came to Barnard’s Henderson apartment on Dec. 8, 2001, in search of his brother.

Attorney Paola Armeni said Barnard opened the door and came out with his hands raised, but Theobald tripped while trying to handcuff him. During the chaos that ensued, officers pepper sprayed Barnard, placed him in a choke hold and held him down on the ground with a knee to his neck.

Defense attorneys, who could not be reached for comment late Thursday, argued that Barnard had resisted arrest. Armeni said the man was arrested at the scene but never was convicted.

Armeni said her client has undergone four surgeries over the years to alleviate the neck pain caused by the officers’ actions. She said Clark no longer works for the department.

U.S. District Judge Robert Jones presided over the seven-day trial.

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