Police Violence Claims Piling Up|in Courts Across the Country

     (CN) – Four lawsuits charging police with unnecessary killings, shootings and other violence – two of them white cops on black men – were filed Friday, in Alabama, California, Colorado and Hawaii.
     Alabama
     White Bessemer, Ala. police officers needlessly shot a black man five times upon responding to a call that he was among group talking loudly on a friend’s porch, the man claims in Birmingham Federal Court.
     Marcus Underwood sued Bessemer, its Police Chief Nathaniel Rutledge and police Officers Daniel Cecil Partridge and Christopher Asarisi. All three officers are white. Underwood survived after being shot in the jaw, chest, arm, hand and shoulder.
     Underwood says he was on the porch with three friends between 10 and 11 p.m. on June 14, 2014. Believing he would only stay a few minutes, he says, he parked in front of the house and left his motor running. He says the group was “engaged in lively if not loud conversation when he joined them.”
     Apparently called by a neighbor, Asarisi and Partridge arrived, and Underwood decided it was time to go. He says he “walked calmly to his car where the engine continued to run.”
     The lawsuit continues: As Underwood put the car into gear and began to slowly accelerate forward, officer Asarisi yelled ‘stop’ without making clear to anyone the subject to whom he was directing his order. Without warning Underwood, both Asarisi and Partridge unholstered their side arms and immediately began firing their weapons at Underwood’s vehicle, hitting the vehicle numerous times and Underwood five times.”
     He says he was unarmed and the officers had no reason to detain him or suspect him of anything.
     “Disoriented and in shock,” Underwood says, he got out of his car and asked neighbors for help. Police responded by threatening the neighbors with guns, asking them, “Who the hell called the medics?” and ordering them back into their houses.
     Underwood says the police immediately began to lie about what happened, claiming they were responding to a domestic dispute, and continued to hold at gunpoint neighbors who said they were willing to testify about what they had just seen.
     An officer made one witness lie on the ground, told him, “Don’t move or I will shoot you in the back of the fucking head,” handcuffed him and put him in the back of a squad car. When he asked why they had shot Underwood, the officers said that Underwood “tried to run one of the policemen over,” a blatant lie, to which both he and the witness can attest, Underwood says.
     “In addition, Bessemer, Partridge, and Asarisi falsely caused plaintiff to be charged with two counts of attempted murder, and one count of attempting to flee the scene of a crime,” all untrue, Underwood says. “Consequently, plaintiff incurred and continues to incur legal fees and expenses to defend these false charges,” in addition to the pain and suffering, costs of 3 weeks in the hospital and return trips for surgery.
     He seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations, conspiracy, excessive force, malicious prosecution, assault and battery and negligence and outrage.
     He is represented by Andrew C. Allen.
     California
     Knowing he was triplegic and could not get out of a car in which he was a passenger, Sacramento police dragged a black man from it and dragged him to a police car, breaking his wrist, and threw him in jail overnight on charges the district attorney refused to prosecute, the man claims in Federal Court.
     Diantae Hogan sued Sacramento and its police Officers Joseph Maydan and Daniel Piaz, and Doe officers.
     He claims the officers would not have assaulted and falsely arrested him if he were not black.
     He was a passenger and his cousin was driving on Aug. 9, 2014 when the officers stopped the car for not having plates. Nor did his cousin have a license, Hogan says. He says his cousin told the officers that he is triplegic and cannot move without assistance, but nonetheless, they dragged him out of the car and into the squad car, fracturing the wrist on the only extremity he was partially able to use.
     “The injury has completely taken away Mr. Hogan’s independence and now he relies 100% on assistance in order to carry out all daily necessities,” he says in the lawsuit.
     He believes “that his race, was a substantial factor leading to the defendants’ decision to assault, batter, and arrest him. None of the defendants who assaulted, battered, and struck Mr. Hogan was African American.”
     The city rejected his claim for damages. He seeks lost wages, medical expenses and punitive damages for civil rights violations, negligence and assault and battery. He is represented by Jamon Hicks with Douglas / Hicks Law of Beverly Hills and Just Ward, of Sacramento.
     Hawaii
     Honolulu police Tasered a schizophrenic man and then needlessly shot him nine times, killing him, his family claims in Honolulu Federal Court.
     Randy Rivera claims Honolulu police Officer Tyler Fujimoto shot his brother to death in the early morning of Dec. 14, 2013.
     Rivera says he made a 911 call and Fujimoto was the first to arrive, at 3:20 a.m. He says he told the officer that his brother Victor was schizophrenic, and had stopped taking his medicine and needed to go to the hospital.
     When three backup officers arrived 5 minutes later, all four rushed into the back yard, guns drawn, terrifying Victor, his brother says in the lawsuit. Victor grabbed a stick, one of the officers Tasered him, and he dropped it fell to one knees. Then, “without reason or provocation,” Fujimoto emptied all nine rounds of his gun into him, killing him, Rivera says. He claims he did it “out of malice and ill will.”
     He seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations, municipal liability, negligence and other charges. He is represented by Michael Jay Green.
     Colorado
     Federal police officers seeking information approached a man in his home at 3 a.m., dressed in black, descending from a van with no lights on, without identifying themselves as police, and when he tried to scare them away “with a child-sized baseball bat,” they shot him in the back, he claims in Denver Federal Court.
     Anthony Martinez sued the United States and three Bureau of Indian Affairs police officers, Patrick Backer, Cheryl Herrera and Matthew Mitchell.
     He claims the Southern Ute police officers claimed to be conducting a “knock and talk,” looking for information about him and drinking companions he had kicked off his land after a fight. Martinez, who is not a Ute but lives close to their reservation, claims his friends called in a false report about him. He claims Officer Backer shot him in the back after he was blinded by flashlights and retreated toward his home in a dark, lonely area with only other home nearby.
     Martinez claims the officers filed baseless criminal charges against him and conspired to lie about it, including “claiming that plaintiff appeared as though he was positioned to swing the bat like a baseball player at the moment defendant Backer shot him.”
     That was disproved at trial by the evidence he was shot in the back, and a jury cleared him of the bogus charges on May 13, 2014, Martinez says.
     He seeks punitive damages for assault and battery, outrage, illegal arrest, constitutional violations, malicious prosecution and other charges. He is represented by Raymond Bryant in Denver.
     All four lawsuits were filed on Sept. 11.

%d bloggers like this: