Caught on Tape: Iowa Cops Shoot Black Bystander 5 Times, Then Lie About It

Just-released security tape shows cops lied after they shot Jovan Webb, who survived April 5th police shooting

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa, 7/22/15 – Attorneys for Jovan Webb, a black Waterloo, IA resident, filed suit in federal court here today against the City of Waterloo and some of its police officers for unlawfully shooting him five times on April 5th. In a statement to the press shortly after the incident, police falsely claimed that Mr. Webb drove towards one of their officers, striking him with the car, which is allegedly why they shot him.

However, just-released video footage and witnesses’ statements show that Mr. Webb, a bystander, posed no threat to the officers. He should not even have been considered a suspect in the incident for which they had been called to the scene.

Mr. Webb ended up with five police bullets in his body, but they did not charge him with any crime.

On April 5, 2015 fisticuffs broke out between patrons at the New World Bar and Grill at 504 Riehl Street in Waterloo, IA. Mr. Webb and a friend of his were at the business his passing an exam to get a CDL license, but neither of them knew any of the combatants, nor did they participate in the fight.

Mr. Webb went outside of the New World Bar and Grill and watched the brief fight. Waterloo police were called to the scene, but by the time they arrived, the fight was over and the combatants had left. Mr. Webb got into his car, and according to the suit, Jovan Webb v. Waterloo, IA, et al.

“Soon after getting into his car, a man wearing civilian clothes knocked on the driver’s side window of Mr. Webb’s car with a black object. On information and belief, the man who knocked on Mr. Webb’s car was a Waterloo police officer and he singled out Mr. Webb because of his race. Mr. Webb pulled out of his parking spot to get away from the man, who he did not know.

“The man, now believed to be one of the Defendant Officers, chased after Mr. Webb as he was pulling out of the parking lot. Running alongside the passenger side of Mr. Webb’s car, this Defendant fired multiple shots from a firearm into Mr. Webb’s car. Trying to escape this attempt to kill him and fearing for his life, Mr. Webb drove out of the parking lot.”

One or more officers shot Mr. Webb five times – twice in his arm, once in his chest, and twice in abdomen. Despite having surgery, Mr. Webb still has two bullets in him that cannot be removed without potentially causing further injury. He suffered a painful collapsed lung and he still has a breathing machine to help him breathe. Doctors had to make an incision from his chest to his lower abdomen and removed part of his intestine.

Despite being severely injured, Mr. Webb drove himself to the hospital, followed by Waterloo police officers, where they handcuffed him upon his arrival. Medical personnel had to insist that the officers release the handcuffs so that the severely-injured man could receive treatment. Despite their extreme violence towards him, Waterloo Police did not charge Mr. Webb with any crime.

One of the police officers being sued, Thomas Frein, has used excessive deadly force against at least one civilian on a prior occasion and yet received no discipline from his superiors for his actions.

Mr. Webb is represented by Mark Loevy-Reyes of the Chicago-based civil rights law firm, Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law. Loevy & Loevy is the largest civil rights law firm in the Midwest, has offices in Chicago and Boulder, and has won more multi-million dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the entire country over the past decade. Copies of the suit, Jovan Webb v. City of Waterloo, et al., No. 1:15-cv-00066, can be found here: Jovan Webb v. Waterloo, IA, et al..

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