From [HERE] and [HERE] An Ohio police department is under fire again for alleged police brutality after a Black man filed a lawsuit claiming white officers used excessive force when arresting him in November 2016, Cleveland Scene reported. Video of the incident, captured by one of the officer's body cameras, was uploaded to YouTube this week.
Lamar Wright filed a civil complaint (published by Cleveland Scene and ) against the City of Euclid and two of its officers, in which he alleges police unlawfully attacked him after he pulled into a driveway to "safely use his cell phone." Wright claims that two officers, Kyle Flagg and Vashon Williams, came over to his car, and Wright noticed a gun in one of the officer's hands. He says he then put his hands up in the air.
According to the lawsuit, "Flagg yanked on Wright's left arm. Wright was still seated in the car at this time, and had staples in his stomach and a new colostomy bag. This, in combination with Flagg yanking on his left arm, prevented Wright from extending his right arm toward Flagg....Flagg’s conduct caused Wright extreme pain. Wright cried out to Flagg several times that he was hurting his arm, but Flagg ignored him." The video shows that an officer then tased Wright, and the suit notes that Williams pepper-sprayed Wright at the same time.
As the officers instructed Wright to get on the ground and not move, he can be heard yelling, "I got a sh*t bag!" After Williams placed Wright in handcuffs, Flagg said he thought Wright "had a gun" and asked why the man was "reaching with [his] right hand," to which Wright once again responded that he had "a sh*t bag."
In his lawsuit, Wright said that that the officers "had the duty and opportunity to intervene to protect Wright and to prevent the unconstitutional use of force against Wright. Neither Flagg nor Williams did anything to prevent this unlawful attack."
According to Cleveland.com, Wright was charged with obstructing official business and resisting arrest in addition to other traffic violations. The lawsuit states that Wright was taken to a hospital following the incident, where he alleges officers "mocked Wright for the pain he continued to suffer in relation to the pepper spray remaining on his skin." He was then jailed, but the suit states that Wright was unlawfully held in custody even after posting the $900 bond. He wasn't released until after undergoing a full-body x-ray scan at another jail, some four-to-five hours after posting bail. According to , charges against Wright were dismissed in June 2017.
Wright was also allegedly charged $1,000 for the pepper spray stains on his rental car, and he was placed on a "Do Not Rent List" with the rental company, according to the suit.
In a public statement, Wright said that he "filed this case to stand up against police brutality, and to stand with other victims of senseless attacks by officers from the Euclid Police Department."
In October 2017, a wrongful death lawsuit was brought against the city of Euclid and two officers for the March 2017 shooting and death of Luke Stewart at the hands of Officer Matthew Rhodes (who was not criminally charged). And the following week, another officer, Michael Amiott, was fired after beating Richard Hubbard III during a traffic stop.
"These officers' illegal treatment of people in the city must stop," Wright said in his statement. "We need justice for all the victims of the EPD."