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     BALTIMORE (CN) – Baltimore police shot a black man four times at point blank range on the street because he was chewing on a popsicle stick, the man says in City Court. Fenyanga Muhammad says two officers jumped him and choked him while “screaming about the contents of his mouth,” then knocked him down and shot him three times in the back and once in the hand. The officers apparently thought the popsicle stick was drugs.

     Fenyanga Muhammad says he was accompanied by his cousin and friends when defendant Officers Donald Muir Jr. and Hassan Rasheed III jumped out of a white car and put him in a chokehold while “screaming about the contents of his mouth.”
     The police assault caused the stick to become lodged in his throat, Muhammad says. As he tried to dislodge it, Muir hit him in the head and knocked him to the ground. Rasheed and Muir then shot him repeatedly in the back and in his hand, Muhammad says.
     Muhammad says he woke up handcuffed to a hospital bed. He says Muir and Rasheed falsely claimed that he had swallowed drugs, and had the hospital “conduct extensive and invasive tests to determine whether [he] had drugs in his system.”
     But despite the “unlawful search, no drugs were found in Mr. Muhammad’s system,” according to the complaint.
     Muhammad seeks punitive damages from the two officers and the Baltimore Police Department for assault and battery, false imprisonment, false arrest, malicious prosecution, emotional distress and civil rights violations.
     The assault and shooting happened at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 28, 2007.
     Muhammad is represented by Granville Templeton III.

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