In Maryland, the family of 7-year-old Gerard Mungo Jr. filed a personal injury lawsuit against the Baltimore Police Department for $40 million. Police arrested the boy on March 13 for sitting on a motorized dirt bike parked near his home.
According to the personal injury lawsuit, the bike was not in operation at the time the boy was sitting on it and was parked in front of a home close to where he lives. Gerard’s family is accusing a Baltimore police officer of “maliciously and unreasonably grabbing Gerard by his shirt collar and dragging him off the bike.” Dirt bikes are illegal in the city of Baltimore. The police officer that handcuffed the boy to the bench has reportedly said the arrest would not have happened if the mother hadn’t called the police.
The lawsuit describes how police officers and the boy’s mother, Lakisa, started yelling, while the boy ran to his room. He was later handcuffed and transported to the Eastern District police station. Gerard was not charged with committing any crime.
A great deal of local media attention followed the arrest. Approximately 10 days later, Baltimore police entered the home of a Dinkins relative and placed a gun to the head of Lakisa’s 14-year-old son. They arrested Lakisa and police held her for several hours. Baltimore police released Lakisa and did not press any charges.
Baltimore police say the raid of the home was part of a drug probe. The personal injury lawsuit, however, alleges revenge for the publicity caused by the bike arrest.
Mungo’s family is asking for $40 million in compensatory and punitive damages for false arrest, false imprisonment, assault and battery, irreparable personal injury to the boy, and pain and suffering to the family.
If you or someone you love was injured because a police officer used excessive violence or engaged in some other type of misconduct, you should speak with a Washington D.C. or Maryland personal injury lawyer right away.
Even though law enforcement officers are allowed to use physical force when required in certain situations, they are still obligated to follow the laws and cannot use excessive violence when dealing with individuals and suspects. Unfortunately, many acts of police brutality are ignored.
Related Web Resources:
Police Brutality in the US, Human Rights Watch
Baltimore County Looks To Stop Dirt Bike Violators, WJZ.com, May 30, 2007
In Maryland or Washington D.C., please contact the personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen. Attorney Jack Lebowitz and Attorney Vadim Mzhen can explore your options with you. Contact Lebowitz & Mzhen today for your free consultation.