You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

ROUND ROCK: Excessive force lawsuit against police officers returns to court

An excessive force lawsuit against several Round Rock police officers is back in court after it was initially dismissed.

A judge ruled Tuesday to reinstate three parts of a 2015 lawsuit in which the plaintiff, Lionel Alexander, had sued the city of Round Rock and four named Round Rock police officers.

A district court had previously granted the city of Round Rock’s request to dismiss all of Alexander’s claims. The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday to reverse that dismissal. The case will now return to district court to be decided. 

Alexander is accusing the officers of using excessive force and violating his rights as laid out in the Texas Constitution when they arrested him in September 2013. 

Alexander had stopped in a hotel parking lot to try to feed a stray cat when he encountered Round Rock police officer Marciano Garza and three others, who were curious about his activities. Alexander alleges that officers pulled him out of his car, threw him to the ground and injured his mouth before being taken to Williamson County Jail. 

Alexander was initially charged with resisting arrest but was never prosecuted, according to Williamson County court records.

“On the facts alleged, we conclude that the officers’ use of force was objectively unreasonable,” the appeals court wrote. “Nothing  in Alexander’s statements or actions indicated that he posed any risk of harm to the officers. Nor did he pose any flight risk – indeed, he stayed in his vehicle and made no attempt to leave while Garza awaited backup. Perhaps Alexander’s refusal to exit his vehicle on Garza’s command warranted physical removal from the car, but it did not warrant throwing Alexander onto the ground, kneeing him in the back and pushing his face into the concrete.”

When the case returns to court, the court may ultimately conclude that Alexander’s constitutional rights were not violated, the appeals court wrote. But, based on the facts alleged, the case should not be automatically dismissed, the ruling said. 

"We have only heard one side of the story,” the appeals court wrote. “After discovery is complete, the district court may well correctly determine that none of Alexander’s claims can survive summary judgment.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Police considering manslaughter charges in Grenfell Tower fire
Police considering manslaughter charges in Grenfell Tower fire

Police said Friday that they are considering manslaughter charges in the Grenfell Tower fire in London, adding that the blaze started in a refrigerator freezer, the BBC reported. >> Read more trending news  The police investigation is focusing on how the fire began, how it spread and who should be held responsible, Detective Chief Superintendent...
Couple win nearly $1 million in penny slots
Couple win nearly $1 million in penny slots

This was better than a golden ticket. >> Read more trending news A couple from Arizona gambling on a Willy Wonka-themed penny slot machine at a Las Vegas casino won nearly $1 million over the weekend, KMPH reported. According to Caesars Entertainment, Nicholas Blaskowski and Nicole Perry, of Phoenix, hit the jackpot at Harrah's Las Vegas on Sunday...
Report: Russian warships fire missiles at ISIS targets in Syria
Report: Russian warships fire missiles at ISIS targets in Syria

Russian warships fired six missiles at ISIS targets in Syria on Friday, according to the country’s state media. According to CNN, a statement from Russia’s Defense Ministry that was posted to RIA said that the missiles were fired  from the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. The Cailber missiles were fired from the frigates &ldquo...
Oreo to unveil candy canes for Christmas
Oreo to unveil candy canes for Christmas

It is still six months until Christmas, but Oreo cookies could be part of your holiday tree decorations. >> Read more trending news The cookie maker is unveiling candy canes for Christmas, Country Living reported. The Candy Hunting Instagram account revealed that Oreo Cookies & Creme Candy Canes will be available in time for Christmas...
Federal judge temporarily blocks deportation of Iraqis in Michigan
Federal judge temporarily blocks deportation of Iraqis in Michigan

A federal judge granted a 14-day stay of removal Thursday, blocking the deportation  of more than 100 Iraqis living in Michigan, CNN reported. >> Read more trending news The temporary stay allows any of the men and women detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to appear before an immigration judge and make their case for...
More Stories