In this case, there is at least the possibility that the police acted on bad information — that the whole thing was the product of miscommunication. But that doesn’t explain what happened next.
Chadwick, who hadn’t broken a single law when SWAT burst through his door, was taken to the Ft. Bend County Jail with a fractured nose, bruised ribs and what’s proven to be permanent hearing loss.He was held in an isolation cell for two full days.“Instead of apologizing to this man and asking let us see what we can do to help you to make you whole again, they concocted criminal charges against this man, one after another, after another,” said Quanell X who believes the prosecution of Chadwick was designed to fend off civil liability.Ft. Bend County District Attorney John Healy sought to indict Chadwick on two felony counts of assaulting a police officer, but a Grand Jury said no law was broken.
Score one for the grand jury. The prosecutor then hit Chadwick with a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest. He was acquitted, despite the testimony of more than a dozen cops.
With tears in their eyes members of the jury offered the exonerated defendant comforting hugs . . .Ft. Bend County District Attorney John Healy declined to comment on camera, but did say he stands by his decision to prosecute Chadwick, despite the multiple no-bills and not guilty verdict.Asked how much the case cost taxpayers, Healy said “I wasn’t keeping a tally.”
Perhaps Fort Bend County (Tex.) voters should be keeping their own tally the next time Healy is up for reelection.
But while Chadwick was cleared by both a grand jury and a petit jury, unless he wins an unlikely appeal, his civil lawsuit won’t even get to a jury. Last month, a federal district court judge dismissed every one of Chadwick’s claims on summary judgment, finding that the claims either didn’t amount to a constitutional violation or that the government entities he sued were protected by sovereign immunity — the prosecutor by absolute immunity and the individual officers by qualified immunity. The opinion includes this surreal (but, unfortunately, legally accurate) line:
“There is no freestanding constitutional right to be free from malicious prosecution.”
Ponder that for a moment.