Nine years ago, a now retired trucker, Wayne Gerling, was unlawfully arrested. He had parked his rig on East Ninth Street near his home. At the age of 66, Wayne is from Herman, Missouri where he still resides. Hermann’s zoning had long permitted them to park on commercial streets, such as Ninth, which was and still is commercial. To Gerling’s surprise, the town’s police chief back then issued a temporary memo to the staff saying that this kind of parking was no longer legal. Due to this new memo, local Officer Matthew Waite decided to look for the owner of the truck parked outside.
He finds him and knocks on the door. Gerling tells him that the truck is his. As reported by STL Today the courts continue to describe the situation like this, “when Gerling refused to produce his license, Waite intruded into his home and grabbed him by the wrist. As Gerling retreated, Waite used a stun gun on him, causing him to fall into a table and sustain injuries to his chest and shoulder. Gerling was taken into custody and issued two citations arising out of this incident.”
Just recently, almost 10 years after the incident occurred, the federal jury assigned to this case awarded him $150,000 in damages for the injuries caused by the officer’s actions and $500,000 in punitive measures. Gerling has been fighting this for a long time trying to hold police officers accountable for their own actions. Gerling’s attorney spoke on his behalf and said, “It really shouldn’t be this hard. Most people are not going to have the fortitude to fight this for this long. Why in the world is a police officer knocking on doors at 9 o’clock at night to find a person to give them a parking ticket? It’s wild.”
They also reported, “The entire incident is caught on the officer’s body cam. At the time, on the advice given by his former — and now disbarred — attorney, Gerling pleaded guilty to the alleged parking violation. He fought the resisting arrest charge. The city dropped it on the day of the trial. Then Gerling sought out Carnie to seek justice in the civil courts.” Click here for the full story.