Now 65-years-old, Northern California man Gregory Gross is presently paralyzed due to mistreatment and negligence by both police officers and medical staff. After being arrested for a 1mph DUI that caused no damage or injuries in April 2020, police claimed to have used “pain compliance” against the man in order to get him to cooperate.
As explained by Mercury News, Gross sued Rideout Memorial Hospital, the University of California, Davis, Medical Center, and a number of other individual medical workers in August.
The new lawsuit claims that Yuba City Police Officer Joshua Jackson broke Gross’ neck. It also names officers Scott Hansen and Nathan Livingston, as well as Yuba City. Hansen assisted Jackson in his repeated uses of force against Gross, and Livingston failed to intervene. Jackson has not been employed by the police department since February 2021.
According to The Sacramento Bee, Gross was a 64-year-old truck driver from Yuba City when police arrested him. Gross was ultimately arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, as well as other misdemeanor vehicle violations.
Apparently this paralysis was caused by police action. One of the officers, Jackson, swept Gross’ legs out from under him when he was handcuffed. This led to Gross’ face hitting the ground, face-first, breaking his nose, breaking one neck vertebrae, tearing ligaments in his neck, and causing spinal cord damage and bleeding.
Based on police body camera footage, it appears that Gross never received warning that police were going to use force. He also wasn’t resisting. Police explained that they were using pain compliance.
Timothy T. Williams Jr, a police tactics expert, explains that pain compliance, like using a wrist lock, is common for those who are resisting. However, Gross was already in handcuffs and being escorted to a patrol car.
Williams goes further, “From what I observed, there was no need for pain compliance. There was no need to drive him to the ground.” Williams also explains that there was risk of removing Gross’ shoulder from its socket, when an officer twisted and suddenly raised his handcuffed arms.
Additionally, regarding the police ignoring Gross’ complaints about not feeling his limbs, Williams says, “You don’t make that assumption. You’re not a doctor, you don’t know what the person is going through.”
Officers in the video are also seen berating Gross and telling him to “act like a man” despite several claims that he couldn’t feel his limbs. It also sounds like an officer lies to a medical worker, denying that Gross face planted and saying he was assisted to the ground.
Video also shows Gross being brought into the hospital emergency department in a wheelchair at approximately 2:45 p.m. While in the hospital, Gross told medical staff that he couldn’t feel his limbs. However, he wasn’t diagnosed with quadriplegia until much later, 10:49 p.m.
Before this, Gross was “flopped” onto the hospital bed and medical workers ignored him when he said he couldn’t move. He ultimately required two surgeries to fuse his spine. No steps were taken to protect Gross’ neck or spinal cord from more injury, though police officers had a duty to do so, according to the lawsuit.
In a recent check in with Gross, he claims, “I’m in this hospital bed in the living room here and I can’t do anything. 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.”
Gross’ attorney, Moseley Collins, claims that the lawsuits are “about the police brutality that destroyed his life,” as well as getting money to pay for the care he’ll need for the rest of his life. “Greg doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else,” Collins says.
Gross will also be facing a jury trial in Sutter County in March, based on charges of misdemeanor DUI, hit-and-run, and resisting arrest.