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Beaumont NAACP Files Lawsuit for Video of Texas Officers Paralyzing Black Man  

June 29, 2023


BEAUMONT – Representatives from the Beaumont Texas Chapter of the NAACP Christopher Shaw, the 41-year-old black man paralyzed by Beaumont Police Officer James Thomas Gillen while Shaw was handcuffed in custody at the Jefferson County Correctional Facility (JCCF) for public intoxication on June 12, 2021, Shaw’s attorneys and 100 Black Men of Greater Beaumont this morning to announce a lawsuit against the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office for the release of video that shows the incident where Gillen attacked Shaw.


Shaw is represented by renowned national civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Harry Daniels as well as Chance Lynch.


“The video is undeniable,” said Crump. “It shows officer Gillen body slamming a handcuffed Christopher Shaw onto a concrete floor. It shows this police officer breaking a defenseless man’s neck and leaving him paralyzed. It shows the truth they’ve been hiding from you for more than two years and we’re not going to let them hide anymore.”


According to the federal lawsuit filed in July against Gillen, the City of Beaumont and Corrhealth, LLC, Shaw was handcuffed and restrained by deputies at the Jefferson County jail when Gillen “body slammed” him onto the jail’s concrete floor. Shaw, who posed no physical threat to Gillen or any of the officers present, broke his neck as a result of the attack. The Beaumont Police Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff have refused to release video of the attack despite repeated calls from the media and the public.


Later, Shaw was left lying on the floor clearly paralyzed while he begged for help from Corrhealth medical personnel at the jail. Those calls for help were ignored and Shaw was left lying in a pool of urine and feces.


Despite assaulting Shaw and paralyzing him, Jefferson County authorities have continued to prosecute Shaw for Assault of a Public Official and Misdemeanor Public Intoxication. Shaw’s attorneys maintain that he never assaulted anyone.


“It’s not enough that these officers attacked Christopher Shaw while he wasn’t a threat to anyone and paralyzed him from the chest down. They want to lock him up for a crime that never happened on top of it,” said Daniels. “They want to hide him away just like they’re hiding this video so you don’t have to look at him and see how dangerous they are to all of us.”


“That’s not just a threat to Christopher Shaw. That’s a threat to all of us.”


Click HERE for a copy of the lawsuit filed today.


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