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City of Greenwood Makes False Statements to the Federal Court in Bert Keys Lawsuit

Monday, June 24, 2019, 10:44 am News Flash Archive

In an astounding display of hubris, the City of Greenwood has filed an answer to a lawsuit in Federal Court that is filled with denials of numerous facts that the City knows to be true.

The City descended so deep into falsehood, that it even denied that Ray Moore is the Greenwood Police Chief.

The false statements come in the City's answer to the federal civil rights lawsuit filed by Bert Keys in April 2019 against the city, various police officers, and Police Chief Ray Moore.

Many of the City's false statements to the Court contradict statements made by city officials to the Greenwood Commonwealth in news articles published during and immediately after the Keys arrest incident.

As first reported by The Taxpayers Channel, Bert Keys sued the City, claiming police officers twice tasered him and arrested him, after he declined to give police officers permission to search his vehicle or his person without a warrant or probable cause, as was Keys' right under the law.

After Keys was arrested, he was held in jail for four days until he could post bail. After he was released, the city never bothered to bring his case to trial. After two years of waiting, Municipal Judge Carlos Palmer dismissed the charges against Keys.

To read TTC's coverage of the lawsuit, see here:
Exonerated Taser Victim sues Greenwood Police

In the City's response to the lawsuit, filed June 20, 2019, the City denied every single allegation pled in 23 consecutive paragraphs of Keys' lawsuit.

The city's answer may be viewed here:
Greenwood Answer to Keys Lawsuit

For paragraph by paragraph comparison, the Keys lawsuit may be viewed here:
Keys Lawsuit against Greenwood

Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the City is required to "admit or deny" the allegations in Keys' Complaint. Those allegations the City knows to be true must be admitted, else the City has filed a pleading in bad faith containing dishonest and false statements.

According to FRCP Rule 8(b)(4), "Denying Part of an Allegation. A party that intends in good faith to deny only part of an allegation must admit the part that is true and deny the rest."

But the City denied all the substantive allegations of the Keys lawsuit, even the parts which are plainly true.

  1. The City of Greenwood denied to the Federal Court the well-known fact that Ray Moore is the Police Chief of Greenwood.

  2. The City denied that Officers James Layton, Dylan Peden, and Lenard Paige were members of the SWAT team that arrested Keys, even though Layton and Peden stated in their reports that they were all part of the SWAT team that conducted the arrest.

  3. The City denies that James Layton, Lenard Paige, and Detective Byron Granderson, all named defendants in the suit, are even officers in the Greenwood Police Department, even though all are listed as GPD officers on the official police investigative reports.

  4. The City denies that Detective Granderson tased Keys, even though Granderson stated he did in his police report, and three other officers stated in their police reports that they saw Granderson tase Keys.

  5. The City denies that Keys was handcuffed, when Officers Peden, Granderson, and Layton all three stated in their police reports that they did handcuff Keys.

  6. The City denies that Keys was placed in Officer Layton's vehicle for transport to jail, when Officers Layton, Peden, and Granderson all stated in their police reports that he was.

  7. The City denies that Keys was charged with assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct-failure to comply, threat on an officer, and "Other-parking," when the police report clearly lists those as the official charges.

  8. The City denies that Keys was transported to the Leflore County jail, even though Officers Layton and Peden stated in their police reports that they did transport Keys to jail.

  9. The City denies that Keys was booked into the Leflore County Jail, even though the publicly available Jail Docket maintained by the Leflore County Sheriff records that he was. Additionally, in an article published September 6, 2016 by the Greenwood Commonwealth, Chief Ray Moore is quoted as stating that Keys was in jail at that time.

  10. The City denies that Keys was kept in jail for approximately 4 days, even though the official Jail Docket records that he was booked into jail on September 2, 2016, and that he was released on bail on September 6, 2016. Keys' arrest and jail status were widely reported by the local paper and well known to the general public.

  11. The City denies that the charges against Keys were never prosecuted, even though the court records show that the case was never set for trial at all.

The Taxpayers Channel contacted Mayor Carolyn McAdams to see whether there is any explanation for the false statements made by the City in its answer to the Court.

Mayor McAdams provided the following comment:

I have not reviewed the response to the lawsuit as all our city legal issues are dealt with through Greenwood City Attorney, Don Brock and the Mississippi Municipal Services. I would respectfully defer these answers to your questions to Don Brock or to the attorney appointed to the case.

When contacted for a response, City Attorney Don Brock replied that the city has a policy of not commenting on pending litigation.

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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