Monday, December 8, 2008

Summary Judgment Denied in West Haven Police Brutality Case

The U.S. District Court (Hall. J.) held genuine issues of material fact precluded summary judgment in civil rights/police brutality case.

The plaintiff, John Ries, alleged in his complaint that two West Haven officers tripped him, threw him to the ground, tasered him and jumped on his neck. In addition to the allegedly violent arrest, he claimed a violation of his constitutional rights and 42 U.S.C. §1983. The defendant officers moved for summary judgment, which the court denied, citing a genuine issue of fact.

In June 2004, Reis found a condom in the garbage and believed that his daughter, 14, might have had sexual intercourse with her boyfriend, who was 16. Reis first talked with his daughter, who cried, then visited the boyfriend to tell him to stay away from his daughter. The boyfriend told his mother, who then called the police, who went to Reis’s home and questioned him. Reis alleged that he asked the police if they were going to arrest him, and they responded no, at which point he said he was returning to bed. At that point, he alleges the officers tripped him, threw him on the ground, tasered him and jumped on his neck. The officers claimed that Reis abused them verbally, resisted arrest and failed to follow commands.

Sounds like a genuine issue of material fact to me.

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