ORLANDO, Fla. (April 2, 2012) – Attorney Kelsay Patterson today released video surveillance footage documenting the excessive force used by police officers being sued for the wrongful death of Preston Bussey, III in 2009.  Bussey’s mother and Cocoa, Fla.-resident J. Pearl Bussey-Morice filed a federal lawsuit in Orlando against the Rockledge Police Department, naming seven members responsible for her son’s death.  Preston Bussey died in police custody after voluntarily seeking treatment at the Wuesthoff Medical Center emergency room.  Patterson this week filed for summary judgment on behalf of Bussey-Morice.  This is her second child to die of police brutality while in custody at a hospital.  In 1999, Vincent Bussey (Preston’s brother) lost consciousness while struggling with police at a Melbourne hospital and died.

Surveillance camera footage reveals an unarmed Bussey pulling away from police officers who did not tell him they intended to take him into custody. Police enter the hospital with Tasers raised and aimed at the patient. Bussey backs away and then follows instructions to get to his knees. The video shows the officers aiming their Tasers at his back and chest and then shooting Bussey multiple times when he steps away.

According to Patterson, Bussey did not harm anyone, commit a crime, possess a weapon or threaten anyone with aggression.

“They handled Preston Bussey like an armed and dangerous violent criminal, and used unjustified, unnecessary, unreasonable and excessive force to detain him,” said Patterson.

Defendants Sgt. Timothy Hewitt, Cpl. Yvette Gomez, and Officers Patrick Kennedy, Timothy Herberner, Don Williams, Robert Owens and Matthew Leverich together and individually battered, Tasered and suffocated unarmed Bussey with a pillow case.  The medical examiner concluded that the officers shot Bussey with a stun gun six times – more than twice the limit set by Rockledge Police Department policy.

The video and legal filings are available for download at www.lawsuitpressrelease.com. Based in Tampa, the law offices of Kelsay Patterson practice in the areas of employment discrimination, health insurance, ERISA, automobile accidents and injuries.  More information is available at 813-975-7269 and kplaw@bellsouth.net.

Second Amended Motion for Summary Judgment

Amended Statement of Undisputed Material Facts


CONTACT: John P. David or Alexis Gray