KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas sheriff’s deputy caught on dashcam video running over a Black man who was fleeing shirtless across a field said in a court filing Thursday that he accidently struck the man with his patrol truck.
Kiowa County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Rodriguez, in response to a federal civil rights lawsuit, denied he intentionally swerved his truck to run over Lionel Womack on Aug. 15. The deputy said he learned later that Womack did not possess a weapon.
Womack, a 35-year-old former police detective from Kansas City, Kansas, alleges in the lawsuit filed last month that he sustained serious injuries when Rodriguez intentionally drove over him.
The graphic video is at the crux of the case against Rodriguez in U.S. District Court in Kansas. The lawsuit argues that he used excessive force and was “callously indifferent” to Womack’s civil rights.
Rodriguez generally denied the allegations, and disputes the nature and extent of the damages. He also asserted he is entitled to qualified immunity from all claims in the lawsuit.
He acknowledged he was a part-time sheriff’s deputy with the Kiowa County Sheriffs Office at the time, but is now on administrative leave.