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CAUSENO.

236 261015 12
INRE:
JULIE PERRY AND KIRK
PERRY, AS NEXT FRIENDS OF
K.P., AND K.P.
VS.
DYLAN ECKSTROM, THE CITY
OF ARLINGTON AND
UNIDENTIFIED OFFICERS









PETITIONERS' PRE-SUIT PETITION FOR TRCP 202
DEPOSITIONS ON ORAL EXAMINATION
TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE OF SAID COURT:
Pursuant to Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 202, Petitioners K.P., Julie Perry and Kirk
Perry file this Petitioners' Pre-Suit Petition for Depositions on Oral Examination.
I.
STATEMENT OF THE CASE
This case is about a large police officer caught on tape body slamming a child onto the
pavement. Petitioners are Julie and Kirk Perry, the parents of K.P., the minor child in the
assault. The known affected parties by this petition are Petitioners, Officer Dylan Eckstrom and
the City of Arlington. The unknown parties affected by are multiple unidentified officers I and
unidentified witnesses.
2
Pursuant to Rule 202, Petitioners seek pre-suit depositions from
witnesses as described below.
I Hereafter referred to as ("Unidentified Officers").
2 Hereafter referred to as ("Unidentified Witnesses").
II.
FACTS
A GIRL AND HER SISTER GO TO A PARTY AND GET AMBUSHED BY BULLIES
On or about August 9, 2012, K.P., a minor child, attended a summer dance party held at
the premises located at 1010 Collins in Arlington, Texas. Admission was charged and a large
number of teenagers attended what was billed as an end of summer party before the fall school
semester.
3
As media reports indicated, the crowd at the dance party became unruly, causing the
premise owners to shut down the party earlier than planned.
K.P., who had attended the party with her older sister, were walking out of the party into
the parking lot when suddenly she is assaulted from behind by one or two of a pair of female
teens. Though hit in the head from behind, she soon heard the taunts of two teens known to her,
because they had bullied her in the past. The teens then obstructed K.P.'s path and tried to goad
her, her sister and their friend to fight.
TWITTER SHOWS THE POLICE ARRIVE AND DISPERSE THE CROWD
For reasons that are not presently known, the Arlington Police Department dispatches a
number of officers who arrive at the location and are filmed by, at least, one camera phone held
by an unknown party. This footage that follows was subsequently placed on the popular social
medium, Twitter.
4
What the video depicts is a small phalanx of officers marching through the
parking lot and dispersing the crowd. As the video depicts, a short bald officer marched forward
and dispersed a number of the teens, including a handful offemales who were walking backward
and threatening K.P. and her sister. Next to this first officer appears in the video a bigger and
, See Exhibit, "A," Verification ofK.P., a Minor Child, attached and incorporated herein; and See Exhibit "B,"
Verification of Kirk Perry, attached and incorporated herein.
4 See Exhibit "C," Utube Video, attached and incorporated herein.
PETITIONERS' PRE-SUIT PETITION FOR TRCP 202 DEPOSITIONS ON ORAL EXAMINATION-Page 12
taller officer who had been walking along side of the other officer. As the video indicates, both
officers walked past K.P., her sister and her friend, and initially appeared focused on the teens
who are threatening K.P.
After continuing to walk, the second officer, later identified as Officer Dylan Eckstrom,
changed directions and began walking back toward K.P. The Twitter footage then shows that the
camera moves away from K.P. and Eckstrom for a small number of seconds, but then returns in
time to record a series of shocking images.
OFFICER ECKSTROM BODY SLAMS AND PEPPER SPRAYS GIRL
On camera, Officer Eckstrom, who appears to stand more than 6'0" tall and weigh
between 190 and 220 pounds, goes up to the 5'4" girl and grabs her upper body from behind,
heaves her upward so that her feet travel more than a foot off the ground and then slams her back
first onto the pavement. Seeing the burly officer body slam the 116 pound girl, the stunned
crowd releases a collective, "Ooh."
When Officer Eckstrom slammed K.P. into the paved parking lot, the girl banged her
head and hurt her back and neck. The abuse did not end with the body slam, though. At some
point, Officer Eckstrom scraped her face on the pavement. And though K.P. had never resisted
him, Officer Eckstrom inexplicably pulled out his pepper spray and doused her in the face at
close range as he pressed her lifeless body to the ground. The spray severely burned her skin and
open wounds hours later.
OTHER OFFICERS STAND BY AND DO NOTHING
As Officer Eckstrom continues to use what is depicted as unwarranted and excessive
force, several of his unidentified cohorts stand over K.P. and do nothing to aid her. For reasons
unknown to K.P., Officer Eckstrom adds further injury by spinning her onto her face whereby he
PETITIONERS' PRE.sUlT PETITION FOR TRCP 202 DEPOSITIONS ON ORAL EXAMINATION-Page 13
gratuitously scrapes it on the pavement in mUltiple places. K.P. had disfiguring scabs for nearly
a week. All of the officers later informed K.P.'s parents that she cooperated with the police
throughout the evening, both before and after her assault. Officer Eckstrom then takes her to his
squad car where he obtains her identification.
"I HAD TO GIVE YOU A TICKET TO EXPLAIN WHY I SPRAYED YOU"
Officer Eckstrom took the girl to the police station and her parents were contacted.
K.P.'s mom later spoke to the officer about the pepper spray which he doused K.P. with at close
range. When her mother complained that her own arms burned when she hugged her
disconsolate daughter upon meeting, Officer Eckstrom said that he understood, because he had
contaminated himself when he shot the girl at such close range. Officer Eckstrom later explained
to the girl, almost apologetically, why he had to give her a citation for Fighting in Public. "I had
to give you a ticket," he said to the girl, "to explain to my boss why I sprayed you." K.P.'s
family and friends who likewise had multiple interactions with Officer Eckstrom and other
officers found their statements to be incredible insults that added to her injuries.
ARLINGTON POLICE DEFENDS "OPEN HAND" TECHNIQUE
While pledging to the public in media reports that the Department takes complaints of
excessive force seriously and that it was thoroughly investigating the incident, other media
reports indicated solidarity from other officers and that body slamming the teen was being
characterized as an appropriate "open hand" tactic that was not considered excessive
(presumably on the Use of Force Continuum and or the Department's own use of force policy).
PETITIONERS' PRE.sUlT PETITION FOR TRCP 202 DEPOSITIONS ON ORAL EXAMINATION-Page 14
III.
BASIS AND SCOPE OF PRE-SUIT DISCOVERY
A.
PETITIONERS SEEK INFORMATION CONCERNING THE BODY SLAM
Pursuant to Rule 202.2(d)(1) and 202.2(d)(2), Petitioners anticipate the institution of suit
against Officer Eckstrom in which she would be a party and seeks to investigate potential claims
that may be brought by her against not only Officer Eckstrom, but the Unidentified Officers and
the City of Arlington. The subject matter of her suit would be the injuries that she sustained as a
result of Eckstrom slamming her into the ground and shooting her in the face with pepper spray
at close range while she was on the ground and not moving.
The potential claims against the Unidentified Officers and the City of Arlington may
depend significantly on Officer Eckstrom's deposition testimony, which could assist in reducing
actions brought against the Unidentified Officers for failing to restrain an officer from violating
K.P.'s civil rights. Likewise, any explanation concerning Eckstrom's "open hand" tactic may
increase, define, limit or preclude the City of Arlington's liability.
Petitioners expect that the interests of Officer Eckstrom, the Unidentified Officers and the
City of Arlington to be adverse to her own.
B.
WITNESSES AND INFORMATION SOUGHT
Pursuant to Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 202, K.P. seeks to depose material witnesses
to investigate K.P.'s claims and identify culpable parties without burdening those who are
potentially not liable with the expense and burden oflitigation.
PETITIONERS' PRE-SUIT PETITION FOR TRep 202 DEPOSITIONS ON ORAL EXAMINA TlON-Pag, 15
A. Petitioners need to depose Officer Dylan Eckstrom about the bodyslam.
Petitioners request to depose:
Officer Dylan Eckstrom
Ott Cribbs Public Safety Center
620 W Division Street
Arlington, Texas 76004
Petitioners need to depose Eckstrom about the facts and circumstances surrounding the
incident, including:
what prompted him and other officers to go to the scene
what prompted him to move in the direction with the other officer
what prompted him to direct his attention to K.P.
what prompted him to grab K.P.'s upper body
what prompted him to slam K.P. into the ground
what prompted him to pepper spray K.P.at close range
what prompted him to cite K.P. with "Fighting in Public"
what Departmental policies was he following when he committed these acts
what were the roles and identities of other officers and witnesses at the scene
what were the identities of other witnesses
what statements were taken from witnesses and law enforcement
what electronic or documentary evidence exists related to this incident
whether there has been an internal investigation
what is the status of the internal investigation
PETITIONERS' PRE-SUIT PETITION FOR TRCP 202 DEPOSITIONS ON ORAL EXAMINATION-Page 16
B. Petitioners need to depose Unidentified Officers in the Twitter video.
Petitioners request to depose:
Unnamed Officer No 1.
Ott Cribbs Public Safety Center
620 W Division Street
Arlington, Texas 76004
Unnamed Officer No.2
Ott Cribbs Public Safety Center
620 W Division Street
Arlington, Texas 76004
Unnamed Officers No.3
Ott Cribbs Public Safety Center
620 W Division Street
Arlington, Texas 76004
Petitioners need to depose these officers about the facts and circumstances surrounding
the incident, including:
what prompted the officers to go to the scene
whether they saw Officer Eckstrom any act ofK.P. before the body slam
whether they saw Officer Eckstrom body slam K.P.
whether they saw Officer Eckstrom pepper spray K.P.
what were the identities of other witnesses
what statements were taken from witnesses and law enforcement
what Departmental policies he was following when he committed these acts
what were the roles and identities of other officers and witnesses at the scene
what were the identities of other witnesses
what statements were taken from witnesses and law enforcement
PETrrIONERS' PRE-SUIT PETITION FOR TRCP 202 DEPOSITIONS ON ORAL EXAMINATION-Pagel'
what electronic or documentary evidence exists related to this incident
whether there has been an internal investigation
what is the status of the internal investigation
C. Petitioners need to depose Unidentified Witnesses in the Twitter video.
In the video itself, there are several unidentified individuals who witnessed facets of the
incident from different angles. Some of them are believed to be disinterested witnesses. Others
may be affiliated with the teens who assaulted K.P.
Petitioners need to depose these witnesses about the facts and circumstances, including
the following:
what occurred at the scene before the officers arrived
whether they saw any act ofK.P. before the body slam
whether they saw Officer Eckstrom body slam K.P.
whether they saw Officer Eckstrom pepper spray K.P.
what were the identities of other witnesses
what statements were taken from witnesses and law enforcement
what electronic or documentary evidence exists related to this incident
IV.
THE DISCOVERY SOUGHT SERVES INTERESTS OF RULE 202
Allowing Petitioners to obtain this limited discovery would allow them to perpetuate the
testimony of the Unidentified Witnesses and to investigate her anticipated and potential claims
against Officer Eckstrom, and her potential claims against the Unidentified Officers and the City
of Arlington.
PETITIONERS PRE-SLTr PETITION FOR TRCP 202 DEPOSITIONS ON ORAL EXAMINATlON-Pag.IS
The benefits of allowing the discovery sought by Petitioners outweigh any burden or
expense associated with it. It is essential to Petitioners' claims that they be allowed to preserve
the testimony from the witnesses without delay. The City of Arlington's Police Department has
informed the media that it is conducting its own internal investigation, involving approximately
some 30 police officers, but has taken no action against Officer Eckstrom. Furthermore, one or
more members of the APD force have publicly stated that Eckstrom's use of force was
appropriate and that as an "open hand" technique was "one of the lowest levels" of force
available in this circumstance.
Given that APD and the City of Arlington are already conducting their own
investigations, the burden of Petitioners taking these depositions is small. The benefit, though, is
great as such discovery will be essential to defining the liability of the City of Arlington and the
Unidentified Officers. Furthermore, the equitable benefits of affording Petitioners similar-but
hardly the same-access to witnesses under the control of the City of Arlington greatly favor
granting the requested relief and advance the interests and policy rationales behind Rule 202.
At present, the City of Arlington, an interested party, has exclusive control over several
fact witnesses and a large amount of evidence related to the claims and defenses anticipated in
this lawsuit. It is essential that Petitioners be granted access to, at least, the witnesses who can
identify these other sources of evidence and ascertain the identity of the evidence sources.
V.
HEARING
Petitioners will contact the Court Coordinator for a hearing date.
PETITIONERS' PRE-SUIT PETITION FOR mep 202 DEPOSITIONS ON ORAL EXAMINATION-PageI9
.
VI.
CONCLUSION
As the video graphically depicts, Petitioner K.P. was slammed to the pavement without
good cause by Officer Eckstrom. What the video does not show, though, is the conduct of third
parties against whom Petitioners may well have claims. Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 202 is
intended to aid parties discovery of potential claims and allow them to perpetuate witness
testimony in anticipated litigation. Under the present facts, K.P. was the victim of excessive
force employed in a crowd. A video well documents that others were there to see what a fact
finder would require to assess liability and damages against all responsible parties. Petitioners
thus move that the Court GRANT their petition and ORDER.
--"'UAtlU..lJ1:mL.ales
State Bar No. 24073258
dgonzales{a)henleylawpc.com
H. Hudson Henley
State Bar No. 09465020
hhenley@henleylawpc.com
HENLEY & HENLEY, P.C.
3300 Oak Lawn, Suite 700
Dallas, Texas 75219
214/821-0222 (Telephone)
214/821-0124 (Facsimile)
ATTORNEYS FOR PETITIONERS
PETITIONERS' PRE-5UIT PETITION FOR TRCP 202 DEPOSITIONS ON ORAL EXAM INA TlOS-Page 110
STATE OF TEXAS

COUNTYOFTAltRANT
Verificatiun
BEFORE ME, the undersigned Notary, on this day person!1lIy appeared K.P., and stated
upon her oath that she is authorized to verify the foregoing petition; that &he has read the factual
allegations set forth above; and that based on her personal knowledge and information available
to her at this tUne, the above stated facts are true and COrtee!.
K.P. 11' (')
)1..-. \'
SUBSCRiBED AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME, Ihe Imdersigned authority. on this
the .;:u"'day of August, 2012.
Notary Public. State ofTexaa
EXHIBIT
STATE OF TEXAS

COUNTY OF TARltANT
Verllkation
}3EFORE ME, the Wldenigned Notary, on this day personally appeared Kirk Perry,
and stated upon his oath that he is authorized to verifY the fOC1lgoing petition; that be has read the
factual allegations set forii) above; and that based on his personal knowledge and information
available to him at this time, the above stated facts are true and correct
KirkPcrry
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME, the lUldcrsigned authority, on this
August, 2012.
RAI4
,
EXHIBIT

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I---L--
HENLEY & HENLEY, P.C.
Hudson Henley
Geoff J. Henley
Julie Pettit
David Gonzales
3300 Oak Lawn Avenue
Suite 700
Dallas, Texas 75219
236 26101 5 12
Tel: 214.821.0222
Toll Free: 855.444.1 089
Fax: 214.821.0124
Tarrant County District Clerk
Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center
4301 W. Belknap, 3'd Floor
Fort Worth, TX 76196
August 22, 2012
Re: Cause No. =:-::,.----:,----:--_; Julie Perry and Kirk Perry, as Next Friends of
K.P., and K.P.; In the Judicial District Court, Tarrant County,
Texas.
Dear Clerk:
Enclosed please find Petitioner's Pre-Suit Petition for TRCP 202 Depositions On Oral
Examination, Civil Case Information Sheet, and a filing fee of$249.00.
Please file stamp the original petition and the remaining three copies and return them to
our clerk Charles Cade.
Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions. Thank you.
Isrt
Enclosure


Sheilah R. Taylor
-,
Senior Paralegal
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