Police around the country aren’t able to catch a break it seems as more empowered bad apples are spoiling the rest of the bunch. In Adams County, one sheriff’s department is under scrutiny after a man has filed a lawsuit alleging that a sheriff’s deputy snapped his middle finger after flipping him the bird. It seems that the deputy took offense to such universal disdain for his badge and profession that he decided to fight back and restore the good name of the shield. In doing so however, he has landed the profession in more hot water.
Jeffrey Woodfork admits to flipping off Deputy Travis Wilson but his lawsuit is claiming that doesn’t give the deputy the right to break his middle finger. Woodfork is suing the Adams County Sheriff’s Department for excessive force along with several Adams County jail nurses and their employer, Corizon Health Inc. of Tennessee, claiming the nurses didn’t treat his finger and it healed in a permanently malformed position.
Woodfork’s attorney, Raymond Bryant, filed the lawsuit on Woodfork’s behalf in U.S. District Court in Denver. He is seeking compensation and punitive damages including permanent impairment.
According to the lawsuit, Deputy Wilson jumped out of an unmarked vehicle on Dec. 12, 2015. While jumping out of the car he is alleged to have point his service weapon at Woodfork as he was crossing the street. A female companion with Woodfork took off running upon seeing the deputy with the gun drawn.
The deputy asked Woodfork for the woman’s name and in response Woodfork allegedly hurled obscenities at him. He also flipped him the bird according to the lawsuit. Wilson then allegedly handcuffed Woodfork and broke his middle finger in retaliation to the disrespectful gestures. Woodfork says that Wilson “twisted and yanked it” until the middle finger snapped.
According to the Denver Post Woodfork spent the next eight weeks in jail complaining to jail nurses about his finger. He told the nurses that he believed his red, swollen, malformed middle finger was broken.
Woodfork was finally taken to be treated at Denver Health Medical Center. Doctors there confirmed that Deputy Wilson did in fact break his finger. They also confirmed that the finger had healed in a malformed position.
Apparently the deputy forgot that the finger was still considered free speech and covered under the First Amendment.