A 38-year-old Baltimore man has filed a civil rights violation lawsuit accusing Anne Arundel County police of violating his civil rights when they arrested and imprisoned him without just case. Melvin B. Thomas says he was falsely arrested on January 17 for asking “What about freedom of the press?” after officers apprehended his friend for using a cell phone to videotape cops handcuffing spectators following a Glen Burnie boxing event when some people became rowdy.
Thomas says he and his friend, 32-year-old Pasadena resident Leshon C. Ruffin, were the only two people who were thrown in jail where he stayed for 12 hours. Now, he is seeking $30,000 in damages.
Cpl. Russell Hewitt III, who is a defendant in the Maryland false arrest lawsuit, claims in charging documents that Ruffin was apprehended for trying to approach officers while they were doing their job. He says he arrested Thomas because he was causing a disturbance with his yelling.
Thomas’s attorney, however, says that Thomas and Ruffin were behaving in a nondisruptive manner while others around them were shouting out profanities. All charges against the two men were dropped. Thomas has said that because he and his friend are black he thinks race was a factor. Two white people that also were handcuffed were released at the scene.
Thomas’s Maryland civil rights violation lawsuit is seeking $30,000 in damages.
Maryland False Arrest Lawsuit
A police officer who has violated a person’s civil rights can be sued for damages. Making false arrests, wrongful imprisonment, excessive use of force, verbal abuse, harassment, torture, intimidating tactics, and sexual assaulting a suspect or prisoner can be grounds for a civil lawsuit against the offending police officer, his/her police department, and possibly even the city or the county where the violation took place.
You don’t have to be afraid about coming forward if you were the victim of Maryland police brutality or were falsely arrested without just cause.
Man sues county police for arrest, HometownGlenburnie.com, January 2, 2010
Related Web Resources:
False Arrests, Convictions and Imprisonments, New York Times
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