I was a juror on this case. The Jury listened to all the evidence & deliberated on 3 key issues that were given to us by the Judge. I will paraphrase these 3 issues for you:
1. Was excessive force used by both defendants; within the confines and definition of law? We found yes for Mr. Salazar & no for Mr. Silva, as the evidence that was presented dictated that to be the case.
2. Did the two defendants cause assault and battery; within the confines and definition of law? We found neither defendant guilty on this charge because we knew the defendants did not intentionally hurt the plaintiff.
3. We had to decide a monetary award that was fair, for past & future medical & dental expenses and for pain & suffering.
The article in the Caller Times is rather skewed & in some areas completely inaccurate, mostly misleading. During the trial there was no testimony given that the plaintiff was "resisting arrest", or "started fighting". Mr. Salazar admitted in court he had already intended to "take down" the plaintiff before they took him to the padded cell. According to testimony given by all the defendants the reason they took the plaintiff to the padded cell was because the plaintiff was cussing at them & would not cooperate by answering their questions at the San Pat Jail & they wanted him to calm down. Testimony given, the "take down" was premeditated & the jury believed, by the preponderance of the evidence the take down was done out of misplaced anger, therefore we found that Mr. Salazar was found guilty for using excessive force within the confines of law. Officers and Jailers are trained to know what type & how much force to use for specific situations. Just because a person is cussing/swearing at an officer, does not give the officer/jailor the right to use excessive force to control that type of situation.
I find San Pat. Co. Sheriff Leroy Moody's comment "But juries don't pay attention to that and don't really know what goes on inside the jail." to be highly offensive & inflammatory. We took our jury responsibility very seriously & we know we did the right thing, for the plaintiff and for the justice system.
Testimony given by several witnesses on the side of the defense testified that pictures where taken right after the "take down" that left Mr. Ueckert unconscious. One of the pictures, according to Mr. Salazar was that of a pool of blood the "size of a melon". Where are all these pictures? EMS was at the jail ready to take Mr. Ueckert to the hospital, but instead, was transported to the hospital in the back seat of a squad car, unconscious, in a different shirt, & "cleaned up". The extensive injuries the plaintiff incurred was on account this "padded cell" is not up to prison/jail code, as it's missing padding and therefore not suitable for safe guarding a prisoner.
If you want the truth, get the transcripts. This is not Mr. Salazar's only complaint against him. There are several more.