Attorney William Sulton of Gingras, Thomsen and Wachs Lawyers filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin against Racine County and a Racine County deputy sheriff for excessive force used against Deandre McCollum during an August 2018 incident.
Deputy Edward Drewitz was patrolling the City of Racine with his service dog. Deputy Drewitz saw McCollum sitting in the driver’s seat of his car. Deputy Drewitz decided to stop McCollum because the car’s windows were tinted too dark. McCollum drove away and Deputy Drewitz gave chase. After McCollum’s car was disabled, he ran away on foot.
Deputy Drewitz released his service dog on McCollum. Even though McCollum immediately surrendered after being bitten, Deputy Drewitz unlawfully permitted his service dog to continue biting McCollum.
McCollum begged for help and described the pain as feeling like his leg was breaking. Rather than intervening to prevent further pain and injury to McCollum, Deputy Drewitz shot McCollum in the chest with a taser. Even after McCollum was handcuffed behind his back, Deputy Drewitz tased McCollum and allowed his service dog to bite him in the shoulder and arm.
Attorney Sulton has requested a jury trial and argues that McCollum’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated as a result of Deputy Drewitz’s excessive and unreasonable use of his service dog and taser.
Deputy Drewitz’s unlawful conduct ultimately caused McCollum physical pain, emotional suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. He continues to suffer from permanent scarring.
“Deputy Drewitz’s conduct was a flagrant, purposeful violation of McCollum’s rights,” said attorney Sulton. “Deputy Drewitz inflicted unnecessary pain and injury to McCollum to punish him outside of the judicial process. We will prosecute this action vigorously.”
The law firm of Gingras, Thomsen and Wachs is grateful for the opportunity to accompany Deandre McCollum in his pursuit of justice. GTW attorneys bring the passion and dedication against all misconduct and are ready to battle until meaningful change occurs.
Read the full complaint here.
View deputy Drewitz’s body cam footage here.