Man exonerated after video shows unprovoked police beating, cops insist all is well

Three officers from the Caldwell County, Texas Sheriff's Department -- Sgt. Dustin Yost, Deputy Michael Taylor and Deputy Houseston -- beat the shit out of Larry Faulkenberry in his driveway and lied about it, a fact that only came to light when Faulkenberry produced footage from a CCTV that (ironically) the same police department had advised him to install after a burglary.

Faulkenberry's teenaged son called in a false report to the police after a fight with his father, claiming that Faulkenberry (senior) was "drunk and waving a firearm." When police arrived, Faulkenberry (senior) walked out to meet them with his hands over his head. The police kicked him in the knee, dropping him to the gravel and punched him hard enough in the eye to burst his blood-vessels.

The police then lied about what happened. Deputy Michael Taylor's report said that "I observed Lawrence Faulkenberry push Sergeant Yost with the left side of his body and elbow into a tree causing him to fall and injure his left shin and right knee cap. I observed Lawrence Faulkenberry to forcefully resist Deputies while attempting to lawfully detain him for officer safety."

He faced a multi-year prison sentence before his video came to light.

The Sheriff's Department denies any wrongdoing on the part of ts officers. They specifically "deny that they used excessive force and unreasonable seizure, fabricated criminal charges, unreasonable search—warrantless search of property."

"They yelled 'sheriff’s department.' What do you need? I put my hands up. 'Turn around and walk backwards.' I'll stand here, you come here and put handcuffs on me," Faulkenberry said.

"Why the fuck y'all here?" Faulkenberry recounted himself saying. "Before I could finish the sentence, I got slammed to the ground."

He said one of the officers rubbed his forehead on the gravel driveway, causing major forehead abrasions. A punch burst blood vessels in his left eye. "My whole face was cut up and lacerated from rocks in the parking area. My knee hurt for about a couple of months from where he planted me on the ground," Faulkenberry said.

He said he suffered a herniated back disc and another is "bone on bone."

"They left me laying on the ground for about 15 minutes, face down," he said.

Video clears Texas man of assaulting cop—did police commit perjury?
[Dan Kravets/Ars Technica]