National civil rights leaders demand justice for Beaumont man

On Friday afternoon, national civil rights activists and lawyers led a man from Beaumont to the Jefferson County courthouse as they sought justice for his alleged treatment by a member of the Beaumont Police Department.

Lynch Law LLC, based in North Carolina. Managing attorney Chance Lynch and his co-counsel Harry Daniels of the Atlanta-based law firm of Harry M. Daniels, LLC stood alongside the man during the press conference with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition , an international human and civil rights organization founded by Reverend Jesse L. Jackson.

“Beaumont Police have set a pattern and practice of profiling and uncontrolled brutality,” Candice Matthews, who represented the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, said Friday. “We join organizations calling for state and federal investigations into this police service. We fought for Sandra Bland. We fought for Breonna Taylor. We fought for George Floyd. We are fighting for Chris Shaw.

Lawyers for Christopher Shaw, 41, from Beaumont, said he was seriously injured on June 12 after being arrested and taken to jail by BPD for public intoxication. He was also indicted for allegedly assaulting a police officer.

Shaw, who did not speak at the conference, was a cook at a local hotel and now “can barely get out of bed,” his lawyers said.

In addition to calling for justice, the group also asked members of the public to join them on Saturday for a march and rally sponsored by the NAACP and the 100 Black Men of Beaumont.

The march will begin at 10 a.m. at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, 1050 College St. – less than a mile from the Beaumont Police Department.

“The NAACP believes in transparency,” said LaDonna Sherwood of the NAACP. “We don’t want to lay charges prematurely, but we recommend that transparency be the key and pave the way for all proceedings involving Christopher Shaw.”

The Beaumont Police Department confirmed on Friday that it had investigated the incident and that there was a pending case against Shaw for allegedly assaulting the officer.

Although the department was unable to provide further comment on the incident due to the ongoing affair, officials told The Enterprise that the incident was “unfortunate” and the department “never wishes. seeing no one get hurt “.

Lynch said Shaw was handcuffed behind his back while in custody in Beaumont.

Upon arriving at the Jefferson County Jail, three correctional officers assisted Constable Beaumont in bringing Shaw into the institution. While in detention and restraint, Shaw had an officer on either side of him and a front, said Lynch, who said he reviewed video footage of the incident.

“The Beaumont police officer, who was the prosecuting officer, reached out beyond the reach of the other police officers who had detained him, grabbed Mr. Shaw and knocked him down. air – landing him on his head, smashing areas of his spine. the cord and neck, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.

Speaking from his own law enforcement experience, Daniels called the incident a “problem” and said Shaw could have been given a subpoena or taken to a place to calm down and released with a later court date. .

“I treated people going into prisons and the like and public drunkenness,” Daniels said. “What I never dealt with was hurting a man, slamming his neck with handcuffs behind his back, and he became paralyzed from public poisoning.”

While Daniels said this is a problem across the country and not a “black or white thing,” he noted that these types of incidents occur more often in people of color than in people who don’t look like Shaw, who is black.

Shaw’s attorneys said Shaw has had multiple surgeries and his condition has improved since the incident.

But he still can’t walk.

Now they are asking the public to walk for him as “justice will be served”, regardless of which courtroom he is in.

“Will you walk for Chris?” Because if you don’t walk for Chris, you could be the person sitting in that chair, ”Daniels said. “A lot of people have nothing to say until he knocks on their door.”

Since his arrest, civil rights activists have urged authorities to film Shaw’s arrest. Her attorneys said Sheriff Zena Stephens allowed them to view and inspect the footage.

Lynch said the video, which shows “two men at odds,” has been requested since the incident but has not yet been released. He said the only correspondence received from the police chief was that the footage had been turned over to his lawyer.

Matthews, who is also the chairman of statewide accountability for the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats, noted that under no circumstances should a person have to fight for their life under the orders of the people who protect her.

“The circumstances which led to the paralysis of Mr. Chris Shaw after being detained by the Beaumont Police Force must be investigated with the highest level of transparency and openness within our black community.” , Matthews said.

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