Lincoln County, NC — On Feb. 28, 2018, Jerry Baxter, a disabled Vietnam veteran was attacked by a gang in his own front yard. This gang held him down, cuffed him, choked him out, and beat him nearly to death. At the end of the beating, however, it was Baxter who ended up in jail, not the members of the gang. According to a lawsuit filed by Baxter this week, the reason for this egregious injustice is due to the fact the “gang was wearing badges and uniforms.”
On the day in question, Baxter had committed no crime and had harmed no one. The disabled veteran was at the grocery store when he received a call from his wife — state troopers were at his home looking for his son.
According to police, Baxter’s son Travis was accused of fleeing the scene of an accident. They claimed Travis had been drinking and fled the scene so he could sober up before officers found him.
Travis did not live at the address, but when asked by the troopers, identified in the lawsuit as Randall Lee Neal, Brian Matthew Black, Joshua Lee Craig and Chuck Lee, Baxter told them Travis is likely down the road at another house they own because Jerry dropped him off there about 90 minutes before.
The incident should’ve ended right then. However, according to the lawsuit, the troopers refused to leave and accused Baxter of lying to them.
“You’re a liar,” Neal responded, according to the complaint.
“No sir, I’m being truthful,” Jerry Baxter said.
“What’s that in your right hand?” the trooper asked.
“It’s my car keys,” Jerry Baxter said, according to the lawsuit.
“No, it’s a weapon,” Neal said, according to the lawsuit.
After accusing the innocent 69-year-old veteran of using his car keys as a weapon, the incident turned violent.
Baxter told the troopers that he wanted to call an attorney as they were at his home with no warrant and refused to leave when asked. When he tried to walk inside his home, troopers surrounded him.
When Baxter said he was going to call the FBI, trooper Neal looked at his fellow troopers and gave them a thumbs-down gesture.
Without warning, according to the lawsuit, that’s when the troopers launched an unprovoked assault on the disabled veteran. Baxter was hit in the mouth and immediately began bleeding as the other troopers pounced on him like a pack of wolves.
While he was on the ground, trooper Black put the disabled veteran in a chokehold as the other troopers doled out punches.
As the troopers dish out their abuse, Black tells Baxter, “this is how they taught me in school,” according to the lawsuit.
If this claim in the lawsuit is accurate, according to Black, in today’s police academies, officers are taught to choke out disabled elderly veterans as their fellow cops beat them for no reason. Telling.
While he is being held down by two troopers, Craig unleashed a fury of punches to Baxter’s head and face as Neal scraped the veteran’s arms with handcuffs. The situation became so violent Baxter thought they may kill him.
Multiple times during the beating, according to the lawsuit, Baxter told the troopers that he “can’t breathe.” But they did not care.
The entire time, Baxter’s 4-year-old grandson watched in horror as troopers beat his grandpa.
After beating him to a pulp, troopers then threw him in the squad car before forcing Baxter’s wife to then lead them to the home in which their son was staying.
Despite being innocent, according to the lawsuit, Baxter would be convicted in Lincoln County District Court of resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.
He has since appealed this decision.
“It’s bad enough if this had happened in a bar,” said Asheville attorney George Hyler, a member of Baxter’s legal team. “But what’s most offensive is that it happened in his own house and in his own yard, and in front of his wife and grandson. That to me is pretty egregious.”