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3 Clovis cops exonerated in excessive force civil suit

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Three Clovis police officers were exonerated in a $3 million civil lawsuit accusing them of using excessive force in a 2006 incident, city officials told the Clovis News Journal Wednesday.

A state District Court jury last Friday rejected the lawsuit brought by attorney Dan Lindsey on behalf of the estate of Juventino C. Hernandez, finding after a four-day trial that police didn’t use excessive force or violate Hernandez’s constitutional rights, the News Journal said.

The suit said three officers hogtied Hernandez with a dog leash after handcuffing him and placing him in ankle restraints in June 2006, the paper reported.

Testimony indicated that Hernandez had been “acting crazy” and may have been suffering a psychotic episode at the time of the incident and that he attacked officers who responded to the family’s call for help, the News Journal said.

Hernandez died some time after the incident, according to the News Journal.

The officers named in the suit were Dan Blair, Eric Muller and Douglas Ford, the paper said.

Lindsey said he plans to appeal the jury’s decision, the News Journal said.

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