Associated Press Published

Court Allows Lawsuit Against Sophia Patrolman to Proceed


A federal judge has dismissed charges against Sophia in a police brutality lawsuit, but allowed a lawsuit seeking punitive damages to proceed against the patrolman accused of beating and kicking a handcuffed man.

The Register-Herald reports that U.S. District Court Judge Irene Burger last week in Beckley dismissed numerous charges against Sophia and its police department. Burger ruled that the town and police department cannot be sued because they are legal entities.

Burger also said that such immunity doesn’t apply to employees, including Sophia Patrolman Zach Issa.

Plaintiff Travis L. Honaker filed a lawsuit in March, saying Issa hit, kicked and stomped him while he was handcuffed following an arrest on Sept. 21, 2013.

Sophia Mayor Danny Barr says he thinks Issa will be found innocent during a summer 2016 jury trial.