Sherman City Attorney speaks out about lawsuit against Sherman Police

SHERMAN, TX -- On Wednesday, the City of Sherman was served in a lawsuit alleging multiple Sherman Police officers used deadly and excessive force in the death of a woman. On Friday, the Sherman City Attorney spoke out against the allegations.

Sherman City Attorney, Brandon Shelby, says the allegations made against the Sherman Police officers are not true and that the officers did all they could to save the life of Lesa Surratt back in August of last year.

Shelby says he received notice that the city had been served in a lawsuit by Linda Surratt, alleging multiple officers had used excessive and deadly force in the custodial death of her sister Lesa.

The lawsuit claims that Lesa Surratt and another woman were arrested in a traffic stop back in August of 2013. It states the passenger observed Surratt swallow a small bag of cocaine and when she did, officers began to strike her with an open fist and flashlight to make her spit it out, and then tased her.

Shelby says police dash cam video would show that didn't happen.

"Those accusations are absolutely false," Shelby said.

The lawsuit states Surratt lost consciousness and laid on the ground for 20 minutes or more before officers called for medical help. It says Surratt was transported to Texas Health Presbyterian - Wilson N Jones Hospital where she was later pronounced brain dead. Her autopsy revealed that she had died from asphyxiation.

Shelby says the officers did not delay in seeking medical treatment and they did all the y could to resuscitate Lesa.

"EMS was called within 30 seconds of Ms. Surratt choking on the baggie of the controlled substance," said Shelby. "EMS arrived within seven minutes."

The lawsuit states that the counsel for Lesa had submitted a public information act request for the report and dash cam video of the incident.

Shelby says that request was denied because it was during the time of the Texas Rangers investigation back in October of last year and they weren't authorized to release it then. He says following the Rangers investigation, the findings were presented to a Grand Jury. The officers were cleared of any wrong doing and no charges were filed.

Shelby says because the investigation is complete, they can now release the dash cam video of the incident - with permission from the Surratt family.

News 12 requested the video today and Shelby tells us Surratt's attorney would not give permission for him to release the dash cam footage.

Surratt's attorney declined to comment on the case Friday.


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