Army veteran says he was assaulted by Florence police while having a stroke

Updated: Jul. 24, 2020 at 7:56 PM CDT
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FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - An Army veteran said he was mocked, laughed at, and denied medical aid by Florence city police officers while having a health emergency.

51-year-old Allen Hanvey said he had a stroke while driving and woke up to a nightmare of charges by the police. He has spent the last 19 months trying to piece together what happened that night.

He was scheduled to have neck surgery in November 2018. He had one more errand to run before he and his wife headed to Birmingham for the procedure. He said the last thing he remembers was waking up surrounded by police officers. Body camera footage is the only recollection he has from the encounter with cops.

Hanvey doesn’t remember much from Nov. 19, 2018.

“Tammy asked me what happened, and I said I have not one clue, but they hurt me, and they hurt me bad,” said Hanvey.

The Hanveys, along with a team of Vanderbilt neurologists, believe he slid off the road while having a stroke. Evidence suggest he might have been having a seizure as well.

A month prior, Hanvey was found unconscious in his home. The family now realizes he had a brain injury.

In police reports filed the night in question first responders alleged Hanvey was “possibly intoxicated” and “uncooperative and belligerent,” charging him with assaulting a police officer.

“For five months, Allen walked around with this incredible guilt thinking he had assaulted four officers and it was all a lie,” said Tammy Hanvey.

Police body camera footage captured what happened that night.

48 News made multiple attempts to get the footage independently, but city attorney Bill Musgrove never responded to our request. Neither did the Florence Police department.

We are sharing footage the Hanvey family provided us.

In the first clip, you see Hanvey slumped over in his Jeep. He is disoriented and doesn’t understand what is going on or why police are shinning a flashlight in his eyes.

Hanvey repeatedly tells the police, firefighters, and EMS team on scene he physically cannot move. He feels paralyzed and said he starts slipping in and out of consciousness.

But rather than offering medical attention, the first responders laugh and mock Hanvey.

The back and forth goes on for a few minutes before one officer gets fed up. “I am telling you; you don’t want to do this. You don’t want to do this,” said one officer in the police footage.

When the officer starts approaching Hanvey’s jeep the officer’s body camera mysteriously falls off.

The camera is still recording, you can see officers pulling and tugging on Allen’s injured arm.

Another officer is caught smacking Hanvey’s head on the car door repeatedly.

The entire time, Hanvey doesn’t say a word. He and Tammy believe he started having a seizure. “The paramedics stood there and watched,” said Tammy.

Hanvey said he finally woke up from his seizure and realizes what the police are doing.

The four officers finally remove Hanvey from the vehicle. The camera on the ground, now picked up by the officer. In the video it appears the camera is purposely placed on backwards and shut off.

Hanvey can’t remember what happens next. But when his wife comes to pick him up at the jail, “His clothes were torn; he was muddy because they threw him in a ditch. His face was all banged up. His glasses were shattered.”

Hanvey, an Army veteran and a trained medic himself, said he respects the police. But maintains his innocence. “I wasn’t swinging, I didn’t have a weapon or nothing like that.”

And as for Tammy Hanvey, she believes the police falsified reports to make her husband out to be the bad guy. “When you call 911 and expects someone to come in your dire moment. And this is what happens? No this is wrong,” she said.

Two of the four officers from that night are no longer on the police force. The Hanvey family filed complaints with the police department, citizens advisory board, and the attorney general’s office.

None of those agencies felt the need to investigate any further.

We requested the officer’s personnel file, but we were told they wouldn’t be given to us.

Hanvey is set to appear in court later this month, he faces time in jail and two years on probation.

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