Cops Beat Him for Nothing, 66-Year-Old Says

     WASHINGTON (CN) – Maryland county police Tasered and pepper-sprayed a 66-year-old man without reason, keeping him from his son’s funeral, the man claims in court.
     Leaford Walker claims that Prince George’s County police falsely arrested him with excessive force and that the county attorney maliciously prosecuted him after a burglar alarm went off in his family’s house on the morning of his son’s funeral.
     Walker’s son Phillip had died in a motorcycle accident on May 23, 2014. On the morning of his funeral, May 31, many members of his extended family were staying at the family home in Accokeek.
     A burglary alarm went off at 1 a.m., and police responded 2½ hours later. By then Phillip’s wife Shakita had reset the alarm and was sleeping under prescribed medication.
     Family members who went to the door told the officers they could not open it without triggering the alarm. Police responded by demanding at gunpoint that they open it, and forced them outside when they obliged, Walker says in the complaint.
     As predicted, the alarm rang again, and Leaford Walker woke up. He found his family sitting on the lawn and asked why they were outside so early in the morning. The officers asked Walker if he lived there and when he told them he didn’t, they asked him to go inside and wake up the owner.
     When he told them he couldn’t awake Shakita, he says, the officers beat him, sprayed him with pepper spray and Tasered him, then arrested him and held him until 11 that night, causing him to miss his son’s funeral.
     “The battery of (Walker) was unprovoked,” the complaint states. “He was committing no crime at the time and no reasonable police officer could believe that he was.”
     The county filed criminal charges against him, which were “resolved in Walker’s favor,” according to the complaint.
     Walker seeks punitive damages on nine counts, including battery, wrongful arrest, excessive force, malicious prosecution, negligence and false imprisonment.
     Walker’s attorney Joseph Espo, with Brown, Goldstein and Levy in Baltimore, said he does not expect the matter to be resolved for at least another year.
     The Prince George’s County Police Department did not respond to requests for comment.

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