Dallas, TX
Sunday, October 2, 2022
English Español

Fine Print

English Español

Man Sues Local Agencies After Officer Allegedly Paralyzes Him


Christopher Shaw says he was paralyzed from the chest down after he was body-slammed by an officer while in jail. | Image by KBMT

Donate to Dallas Express to Keep it Free

A Beaumont man is suing several city and county agencies and the police officer who allegedly slammed him head-first onto concrete, paralyzing him from the chest down.

Christopher Shaw, 42, filed a civil rights lawsuit last Thursday against the City of Beaumont, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, CorrHealth, the county jail’s medical contractor, and Beaumont police officer James Thomas Gillen, according to the Beaumont Enterprise.

In June 2021, Beaumont police arrested Shaw for public intoxication. Once at the Jefferson County jail, Shaw reportedly became non-compliant, and a “scuffle” ensued between Shaw, three sheriff’s deputies, and Officer Gillen.

Chance Lynch, Shaw’s attorney, claimed that while Shaw was handcuffed and “posed no threat, no risk to anyone,” Gillen “snatched” him and flipped him around in the air, then came down on Shaw as if bodyslamming him, driving his head into the concrete floor.

The reported incident was captured on video surveillance footage at the jail, which has not been released to the public.

Gillen took Shaw to Baptist Hospital for an evaluation. Shaw was subsequently released and taken back to jail.

Lynch went on to claim that Shaw needed to be placed in a wheelchair, could not control his legs, and had limited control of his arms. When Shaw was placed on a bed, Lynch alleged that he simply slid off because he lacked physical control over so much of his body.

“Mr. Shaw begged for assistance,” alleged Lynch. “He asked the nurse that was on staff to help him. But what did she say? This is what she said: ‘I’m not going to help you until you help yourself.’ No one helped him. Using the restroom on himself, he laid in his own feces and urine, and they still wouldn’t help.”

Shaw was later taken to a different hospital, where healthcare professionals determined that he was paralyzed from the chest down.

Beaumont Police Chief James Singletary told the Beaumont Enterprise that he could not comment on the matter because of pending litigation.

For her part, Jefferson County Sheriff Zena Stephens told the news outlet last Thursday that she was not even aware of the lawsuit.

Beaumont City Attorney Sharae Reed stated she could not comment on the allegations because the City had yet to be served with the lawsuit as of Thursday.

CorrHealth did not respond to the Beaumont Enterprise’s request for comment before the outlet broke the news of the lawsuit.

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

Subscribe to Comments
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Most Read