A civil complaint filed in the Circuit Court of Logan County, alleging Chapmanville police officers and various police agencies had violated the civil rights of Benny James May, was dismissed without prejudice.
On December 19, 2012, Benny James May filed a civil complaint alleging a violation of his civil rights by Chapmanville Police Officer Nick Tucker and Officer Allen Browning. Mr. May alleged specifically that Officer Tucker pulled him from his vehicle in Wendy’s parking lot and proceed to stomp and curse him. Further, Mr. May alleged that Officer Tucker struck him in the mouth, while Officer Browning did nothing to stop the alleged assault.
Officer Tucker and Officer Browning denied the allegations in the civil complaint and the officers relied upon the video footage from their in-car camera to support their claim of innocence.
In a hearing conducted on April 18, 2013, the attorney representing Mr. May requested, and was granted, permission by the Court to withdraw from further representing Mr. May. The Court allowed the suit to proceed with Mr. May representing himself, pro se.
Ultimately, Judge Roger Perry ordered that May’s suit against Officer Browning and Officer Tucker be dismissed with prejudice, meaning that it can never be brought up again. Judge Perry found that Mr. May failed to prosecute his claim against Officer Tucker and Officer Browning and that they were entitled to have the suit dismissed.
Officer Browning and Officer Tucker maintained their innocence from the beginning and asserted that they never violated Mr. May’s civil rights and their attorneys, Dwayne Cyrus and Kim Bandy of the law firm Shuman McCuskey and Slicer in Charleston, West Virginia, were successful in proving that these officers did nothing wrong. Had the matter proceeded any further, Mr. Cyrus was prepared to submit the in-car video to prove to the Court that Mr. May’s allegations were baseless.
Mayor Jerry Price said “I am relieved at the successful conclusion of this matter as it relates to Officer Tucker, Officer Browning, and the Chapmanville Police Department. The Town of Chapmanville believes we have some of the most professional officers in Logan County and the State of West Virginia. We are proud of our officers and I am glad that they have once again been vindicated and that this suit has been dismissed.”