Inmate sues after being head-butted by officer

Michelle Massey Sep. 17, 2010, 4:38am

A "House of Detention" inmate has filed suit against an Orleans Parish deputy sheriff claiming the officer head-butted him.

Tali H. Karriem Jr. filed suit against Marlin N. Gusman, in his official capacity as sheriff and John Doe, deputy sheriff, on Sept. 9 in federal court in New Orleans.

The alleged incident occurred on Sept. 9, 2009, at the Orleans Parish Prison. The unnamed deputy allegedly demanded that Karriem fill out paperwork. When Karriem asked if he could read the paperwork, the deputy allegedly bashed his forehead against Karriem's head.

Karriem claims the incident caused a laceration that required six stitches, a concussion, headaches, a permanent scar, emotional distress and possibly a skull fracture.

The defendants are accused of violating the inmate's constitutional rights by using excessive force and inflicting cruel and unusual punishment. Gusman is accused of negligent hiring, training, supervising and retaining police officers.

"Defendant knew or should have known of Doe's violent and abusive behavior towards inmates but took no actions to correct his behavior," the lawsuit reads.

Karriem is asking the court for an award of special, general and punitive damages, court costs and attorney fees.

Karriem is represented by Andrew D. Bizer of The Bizer Law Firm in New Orleans. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk is assigned to the case.

Cause No. 2:10cv02968

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