NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Two former Norfolk police officers are at the center of a claim of excessive force after a video shows one of the police officers putting a man in an alleged choke hold.
Court documents show that Drew Tyler Lail has filed a $2 million lawsuit against N.M. Caesar and Q. Tomlinson, claiming that his constitutional rights were violated.
10 On Your Side obtained body camera footage from the incident, which occurred outside of Colley Cantina in October 2019. The footage shows Lail explaining to officers that the bouncer of the restaurant had told him to leave after an employee claimed he was being disrespectful.
“The dude, the bouncer says I have to go. I want to pay for the drinks that I have ordered, he said no you got to get out,” Lail said.
During the 10-minute interaction with the two officers continues Lail, who tells officers that he was a former police officer for the Department of the Army, is seen being disrespectful at times towards the officers.
“I don’t give a (explicit) if this is your first day or your last day,” Lail said in response to a comment made by Officer Caesar.
Lail can also be seen telling Officer Caesar to turn off his body camera.
“My camera is on because that is my light…and you don’t run anything. You do not have a say whether I have my light on or not,” Officer Caesar responds.
The footage then shows Tomlinson moving fast against Lail and pushing him against the Colley Cantina building.
Video from Officer Caesar’s body camera then shows Tomlinson allegedly putting Lail in a chokehold. Lail’s body can be seen going limp and falling to the ground. Tomlinson is then seen slapping his face to get him to regain consciousness.
Lail was taken to Sentara Norfolk General where he was treated for minor injuries. He was later arrested for public intoxication and would spend the next eight hours in jail. Court documents show the charge was dismissed after four hours of community service.
According to NPD’s Use of Force police, Officers are only allowed to use choke holds when an officer or another is in imminent danger of death or serious injury.
Officer Tomlinson resigned from NPD in 2021 and Officer Caesar resigned in 2022.
Jury selection for the lawsuit is set to begin Tuesday.