Pasadena, TX: Police Misconduct

In February 2022, we sued three police officers from the Pasadena (TX) Police Department in Cardona v. Ferguson et al. The lawsuit alleges that Officers Mark Ferguson, Elias Vega, and Damon Drey unjustly arrested our client, David Cardona, for felony DWI and then agreed to falsify multiple reports and sworn statements to incriminate him. What the officers said on-scene was captured on body cameras, which you can see in the video below.

Mr. Cardona was driving home with his partner when police pulled him over for a traffic infraction. Mr. Cardona agreed to participate in multiple field sobriety tests. The complaint alleges, based on these tests, the officers on the scene concluded that Mr. Cardona was not intoxicated or impaired – Officer Vega even said that Mr. Cardona had better balance on the One Leg Stand test than he had while demonstrating it.

And yet, according to the complaint, Officer Ferguson spontaneously began pressuring Mr. Cardona to take a voluntary breath test. When Mr. Cardona, who had already been told he would be released, questioned the purpose of a breath test, Ferguson abruptly directed Vega, his junior partner, to just “take him to jail,” the complaint alleges. According to the complaint, the officers submitted false and misleading statements under oath to a magistrate, judge, and prosecutor in an effort to cover up the wrongful arrest.

By the time the case against Mr. Cardona was dismissed four months later, the complaint alleges, he had suffered through the trauma of two nights in jail, a forcible blood extraction and examination (which later reported a BAC below the legal limit), days of missed work and income, a slew of onerous and expensive pretrial supervision conditions, and the irreversible stress, humiliation, and fear inflicted by a felony prosecution.

On behalf of Mr. Cardona, we are seeking damages and an official declaration that the officers violated Mr. Cardona’s constitutional rights. Police cannot be allowed to break the law and violate people’s rights.