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Dotson v. Ricks

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Fort Worth Division

June 20, 2018

ANTONIOUS DOTSON, Jr. (TDCJ No. 02074381), Plaintiff,
OFFICER J.R. RICKS, et al., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL UNDER 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A & 1915(E)(2)(B)


         This case is before the Court for review of pro-se inmate/plaintiff Antonious Dotson Jr.'s pleadings under the screening provisions of 28 U.S.C. §§ 1915A and 1915(e)(2)(B). As explained below, the live pleadings subject to review under these statutes are Plaintiff's complaint, more definite statement, and supplemental more definite statement. After review and consideration of Plaintiff's claims, the Court finds and determines that all claims must be dismissed under authority of these provisions.


         In this suit Dotson filed a form civil-rights complaint naming as defendants J.R. Ricks, officer, Fort Worth police department, and the Fort Worth police department. (Complaint (doc. 1) at 1-2). In the statement-of-claim section, Dotson wrote:

On April 16, 2015, my sister, a friend, and myself was [sic] walking down the street when Officer Ricks drove by. He drove 2 blocks and did a U-turn and approached us in a rude manner saying we didn't wave at him and how he was letting us make it walk on the wrong side of the street. We didn't know that was a crime there are no sidewalks where we were walking and we weren't in the middle of the street. After he got our information and asked us he didn't find any paraphernalia and none of us had warrants. While he's doing this we were sitting on the curb. He then came over and started being rude and disrespectful. After he looked and realized I wasn't listening he came and snatched me off the curb. I know resisting arrest is a crime so I complied and out of nowhere he punched me in the face. I reacted on a reflex and hit him back. I then ran because I was scared and I wasn't far from my house. I got caught and surrendered when more officers drug me in an ant pile and kicked and punched me.

         (Complaint (doc. 1) at 5). After review of that pleading, the Court directed Dotson to file a more definite statement, with answers to the Court's specific questions about the claims made in the complaint. (Order for More Definite Statement (doc. 16)). Dotson filed a handwritten more definite statement. (More Definite Statement (MDS)(doc. 19)). Although Dotson initially failed to answer several questions, after another Court order, Dotson filed a Supplemental More Definite Statement. (Suppl. MDS (doc. 25)). In response to the Court's questions, Dotson listed several additional facts concerning the incident:

After searching us and checking for warrants he had the three of us sitting on the curb and when he walked back to us my phone was ringing and I tried to answer it and he told me “Put that fucking phone up I know what you are trying to do.” As if I was trying to record him or something. At first I refused to put my phone away because I knew I've the freedom of speech and that could've been my Dad or my step-mom trying to tell me something. And also violating my 4th Amendment Illegal Search and Seizure. By not having much of a reason to detain any of us and by telling me to put my phone away and in a threatening tone and furious glare, telling me “not to use my phone” was rude and disrespectful for an officer of the law.
After the first incident with my phone, in which my sister insisted I just put my phone away, there was another ringing or notification from my phone and not knowing if it was an emergency from my family or what, when I picked it up to take a look from my phone through my peripheral I could see him rushing toward me and before I could say anything or even react, he was grabbing my left shoulder and left arm simultaneously literally pulling and snatching me onto my feet. And he was saying I was “under arrest.”
I never resisted him arresting me. I never fought or even tried to fight back. I've seen on T.V. how officers arrest people. He was twisting my arm behind my back and I was raising my other arm behind my head for the universal sign of “surrendering.” And at the time I was 17, the officer is a huge fellow, so it wouldn't have taken much to arrest me if those were his true intentions. After he punched me my neck was stiff and my vision was blurred and the timing of the event just launched my mind into survival mode and all I was trying to do was defend myself. Before I realized what I was doing I swung back and ran.
I'm not positive about which hand I hit him with my strong hand is my right hand so I would chance it but because I was seeing stars and my neck was stiff by the minute I just wanted to protect myself. Honestly, I don't even think I actually hit him and by chance that I did it'd be impossible for me to hit him hard enough for him to sustain any type of injury.
[T]his drug raid was about 3 or 4 blocks away from my house and when the officer stopped us, I could still be able to look and see our backyard from the side street we were on. So after I swung (possibly hit) the officer and ran, I crossed a field turned a corner and was heading back in the general direction of where I'd hit (or not hit) the officer. But my goal was to make it home. I was close but I heard the fast approach of police cruisers and I'd just stop running and walked casually. Before the first unknown officer even told me to do anything I immediately layed [sic] down in the middle of the street. After that officers still drew their weapons and I was truly terrified.
After I surrendered multiple officers were discretely hitting me kneeing me in my back and neck and I ended up in the grass and in a antpile and I heard them say “I deserved it for hitting a cop.”
The injuries I sustained were sore and stiff back and after that when I stand up I get dizzy and I've even passed out a few times. Ant ...

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