City of Hernando, police officers sued for alleged use of excessive force

Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 5:59 PM CST
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HERNANDO, Miss. (WMC) - The FBI is looking into claims by a Memphis man who alleges Hernando officers used excessive force against him following a traffic pursuit.

Attorneys for the man say it was all caught on camera.

Memphis resident Adrian Hoyle is seeking millions in damages, saying excessive force used by the Hernando Police Department caused serious bodily and emotional injuries.

A Hernando police dashcam captured the incident detailed in the federal lawsuit filed by Hoyle’s attorneys. According to the lawsuit, on September 3, 2020, Hernando police officers pursued Hoyle and initiated a traffic stop.

Hernando city attorneys say officers tried to pull over Hoyle after he ran a red light.

Dashcam footage shows Hoyle led officers on an eight-minute chase before he lost control of his car, crashed into two police vehicles, and came to a stop in a grassy embankment.

It’s what happens next that has Hoyle seeking $10 million in damages.

The video shows Hoyle coming out of the car with this hands up. According to an affidavit filed in the federal case, Hoyle said he told the officers, ‘I surrender. I’m sorry.’

As Hoyle gets out of the car, the video shows a police K9 is released and lunges at him. Officers are then seen on camera striking with their fists.

Officers Lynn Brown and Hunter Soloman are named in the lawsuit.

In an email from Hoyle’s lawyers, they said Brown was off duty when he attempted to pull Hoyle over. Dispatch audio provided by Hoyle’s lawyers record Brown being told to end the chase.

In an email, one of Hoyle’s attorneys writes, “Upon information and belief, other officers advised they wanted to report the excessive force for investigation but were instructed otherwise by Chief Worsham. The FBI has now sent target letters to both Brown and Solomon and an official investigation is underway within the DOJ. These officers have suffered no discipline by the police department and remain on active duty with pay (now assigned to desk positions).”

The lawsuit claims the excessive force used by officers violated Hoyle’s civil rights and resulted in emotional and physical injuries. The lawsuit says Hoyle received eight sutures on his chest and torso because of dog bites. It says Hoyle was taken in a police cruiser to the hospital, not by ambulance. The lawsuit says that is a violation of the Hernando Police Department and customary police procedures.

Lawyers for the City of Hernando call Hoyle’s complaint misleading and a sham. They say the video shows Hoyle’s actions were dangerous. In a response to the lawsuit, which the defendants’ lawyers are asking be dismissed, the lawyers write, “Nowhere in the complaint does Hoyle tell this Court that he stole a car, ran a stoplight, led law enforcement on an eight-minute chase, and stopped only after he lost control and rammed the stolen car into two police vehicles.”

Court records show Hoyle was charged with several crimes after the incident but pleaded guilty to one count of felony fleeing in June 2021.

Attorneys for the Hernando officers named in the suit declined an interview, saying they don’t comment on pending litigation.

Chief Scott Worsham declined an interview, saying he doesn’t comment on personnel matters.

Hoyle’s attorneys are planning a press conference Tuesday.

This is the second lawsuit Brown is currently named in. Another, filed by two families, claims Brown pursued a vehicle after a police chase was already called off.

The chase resulted in the pursued car flipping, killing two people inside.

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