"It's called pain compliance, sir!"
Yuba City, CA — A 65-year-old Army veteran filed a lawsuit this month after he was assaulted during a traffic stop. Gregory Gross was in handcuffs and complying with officers when he was slammed to the ground and his neck broken.
Gross filed the lawsuit earlier this month and the body camera footage was released shortly after. The hard to watch video shows officer Joshua Jackson slamming the elderly handcuffed man to the ground, breaking his neck in a move officers referred to a "pain compliance."
The lawsuit also names fellow officers Scott Hansen and Nathan Livingston, and Yuba City. According to the lawsuit, Hansen assisted in Jackson's repeated use of force and Livingston failed to intervene.
As the video shows, Gross is standing there, doing absolutely nothing when Jackson begins throwing him around. For no reason, Gross is then thrown to the ground, his face smashed in as the officer contorts his body to get him to "comply."
Gross repeatedly tells the officer that he is hurting him and that he is in pain but Jackson couldn't care less. He continued to twist Gross' arms, bending them backward as he forced the Army vet into an impossible and painful position.
"It's called pain compliance," an officer is heard saying on the body camera footage as Jackson seemingly tortures the non-violent man.
"You can start going with the program," the officer tells Gross as he tells them, "I didn't do nothing" and "that hurts."
"It will continue to hurt if you don't shut up and listen," the officer says as he tortures the elderly man.
"I can't breathe," Gross tells the officers, who reply, "if you can talk, you can breathe."
The "pain compliance" was entirely unnecessary as Gross was not resisting, was already in handcuffs and was walking to the car as he was told to do by the officers. Nevertheless, excessive force was used, and an elderly veteran suffered as a result.
Recommended for You
At some point during the assault, Gross' neck breaks and he tells police that he can't feel his legs.
"Dear God, I can't feel my legs," Gross says as officers mock him.
"Yes you can," an officer says.
But he could not and he's never felt his legs since that fateful day in April 2020.
“While being brutally slammed to the ground, Mr. Gross’s head and face struck the ground, breaking Mr. Gross’s nose, breaking a vertebra in his neck, tearing ligaments in his neck, causing spinal cord damage, paralysis, and ... bleeding," the lawsuit states.
As the video shows, police then throw Gross' limp body into a wheelchair and roll him into a hospital. As medical staff loads Gross into the gurney for a CT scan, police and staff laugh and mock Gross, telling him he is fine. All the while they are not restraining his back to protect him from further injury.
“He was assisted to the ground,” an officer tells medical staff at the hospital as they laugh about his injuries failing to protect his neck and back the entire time.
“Mr. Gross was subjected to negligence by the police officers and negligent medical care by the Rideout Memorial Hospital medical staff that caused damage to his spinal cord,” the suit says. “During this time, no steps were taken to protect Mr. Gross’s neck and spinal cord from further injury."
Gross had been pulled over after he got into a low-speed accident. He was suspected of a misdemeanor and was attacked for it. Now, he'll spend the rest of his life in a hospital bed.
“I’m in this hospital bed in the living room here and I can’t do anything,” gross said in a press conference announcing the lawsuit. “My hands don’t work, and that’s another thing, too. I can’t write, I can’t open my hands to grab anything because the injury caused paralysis in my fingers. It’s not the way I envisioned my later years in life, you know."