It was near 11 p.m. on a Friday night in February 2020 when Independence police officer Tanner Philip spotted Justin Layton walking on a sidewalk on the other side of the street.
Philip was in his patrol car driving westbound and had a green light at an intersection.
Layton, meanwhile, was walking across the street in the same intersection but eastbound on the opposite side of the road.
Philip said that Layton was crossing the street while the pedestrian stoplight displayed a red hand and the words “don’t cross,” according to the petition he filed against the city last month which is the first step in filing a lawsuit against a municipality.
He also claimed that Layton was “hiding his face” as he crossed the street which made him more suspicious but Layton was wearing a hoodie because it was 27 degrees out with wind gusts of 14 mph.
Philip made a u-turn and pulled up behind Layton with his light’s flashing but Layton continued walking without acknowledging him which angered the cop.
The cop eventually stops his car and confronts Layton, tackling and tasering him, placing him in a chokehold as more cops arrive to pile on top of him to assist with what they call “pain compliance” tactics.
By the time they handcuff him and try to stand him up to walk him to the patrol car, he collapses because is unable to stand so the cops have to lift him up and carry him.
He was charged with interference and possession of a controlled substance which was nothing more than the Briviact he takes for his epilepsy which according to the claim, is a result of having been beaten by Independence police on a previous occasion.
Court records show Layton filed another lawsuit in 2008, accusing two Independence police officers of brutally beating him after responding to a disturbance at a home, leaving him with several broken bones in his face, according to the lawsuit. Court records say that case was dismissed with prejudice in 2014.
Layton filed his latest petition on February 6 accusing Philip and the other cops of having detained and beaten him without probable cause.
Less than a month later, Philip was named “Officer of the Year,” according to a post on the Independence Police Department’s Facebook page which stated the following:
Officer Tanner Philip of the Independence Police Department has displayed, on multiple occasions, exemplary service while responding to calls involving individuals who have been identified as struggling with a mental health crisis.