Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

SF Jury Finds Deputies Used Excessive Force, Should Pay $200,000 in Punitive Damages

In February 2008, a San Francisco jury found that Sheriff’s Deputies Miguel Prado and Glenn Young used excessive force against Earnest Henderson in December 2004, while Henderson was in custody at San Francisco Jail #2 (awaiting trial); that the excessive force harmed Henderson; that Henderson suffered compensatory or nominal damages in the amount of one dollar; and that Prado and Young should each pay $100,000 in punitive damages to Henderson.

When the portion of the jail in which he was housed lost electrical power, Henderson asked Deputy Young for an extension cord so that he could watch T.V. Young got an extension cord, but gave it to someone else. When Henderson complained, Young removed him from his cell and locked him in a utility room.

According to the complaint he filed in 2005, Henderson was thereafter beaten to a pulp by Young and other deputies. He was hog-tied, stripped naked, punched, kicked, and stomped, placed in administrative segregation (without a hearing), and repeatedly denied medical care for his injuries.

When, more than ten days later, he was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, he was diagnosed with a broken L1 vertebra and internal bleeding.

Represented by counsel, Henderson filed §1983 complaint in federal court, alleging, inter alia, that Deputies Young and Prado had violated his Constitutional rights by using excessive force against him and then being deliberately indifferent to his serious medical needs. A jury found Young and Prado liable and determined that, although they had inflected only nominal harm to Henderson, they should each pay him $100,000 in punitive damages. See: Henderson v. City and County of San Francisco, U.S.D.C. (N.D. Cal.), Case No. C 05-0234 VRW; 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64788.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Henderson v. City and County of San Francisco