They Serve, Protect and Stomp You

     PHILADELPHIA (CN) - Philadelphia police threw a man to the ground, stomped on his chest and held him in handcuffs for 45 minutes, and said they did it "because he had his hands in his pockets," the man claims in court.
     Lawrence Meredith sued Philadelphia, its police Officer Deacon and Officer John Doe, in Federal Court.
     Defendant Deacon's first name apparently is not known. His badge number is 4679.
     Defendant Doe's name and badge number are not known.
     Meredith claims he was brutalized after he got a haircut on the afternoon of Feb. 11, 2011.
     As he left the barber shop, he says, the two officers grabbed him, threw him to the ground and stomped on his chest, causing serious, painful injuries. He claims he had done nothing to cause this, but the officers handcuffed him and held him in their cruiser (No. 1411) for 45 minutes.
     "While being held in the back of the police cruiser, plaintiff asked the police officer defendants why he was being held by them, and he was simply told that he was thrown to the ground because he had his hands in his pockets," the complaint states.
     "After plaintiff was held by the police officer defendants for approximately forty-five minutes, they asked him to sign a release form (which he would not sign) and then released him." (Parentheses in complaint.)
     Meredith seeks punitive damages for excessive force, civil rights violations, constitutional violations, and false arrest.
     He is represented by Jeffrey Lessin.