City of Durham Sued for Police Brutality: Local Attorney, Brandon S. Atwater, to Serve as Lead Counsel for Plaintiff
September 7, 2017
DURHAM, NC- The City of Durham faces yet another lawsuit stemming from the Durham Police Department’s use of force. The lawsuit, which was filed in Durham County Superior Court on Thursday, September 7th, by local attorney, Brandon S. Atwater, arises out of a stop involving a misidentified suspect.
According to the Complaint, at or about 4:05 p.m. on Friday, February 10, 2017, the plaintiff, a young black male, was walking home from his place of employment when he was stopped by Defendant Officer Brian K. Johnson, an on duty law enforcement officer employed with the Durham Police Department.
According to the Complaint, although Plaintiff was compliant and had submitted to the stop, Officer Johnson berated Mr. Parker with “profane, blasphemous, and racially insensitive comments”.
In addition, the Complaint claims that Officer Johnson, among other things, intentionally released his police canine on Plaintiff, which resulted in Plaintiff being viciously attached the canine.
The twenty-one (21) page Complaint includes various state and federal claims for relief, including, claims for unlawful seizure, excessive force, assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In addition, the Complaint alleges that Defendant Johnson, the primary officer involved, conspired with others to willfully make false, deliberately misleading and/or unfounded reports concerning the stop in order to conceal he and his fellow officers’ misconduct.
Although the City has previously conceded that the plaintiff in the lawsuit was misidentified and was compliant throughout the stop, the City maintains that the police canine got out “accidentally” and “inadvertantly” bit Plaintiff.
According to the Complaint, the City has previously claimed that there are no officer dash camera video of the stop at issue.When asked about dashcam recordings, the City claimed that officers’ cameras were “malfunctioning” at the time of the stop.
The City is due to file an answer to the Complaint by Thursday, October 12th.
Atwater, who has experience litigating cases involving excessive force against law enforcement and government contracted security firms, will be serving as Lead Counsel for the plaintiff.
To view the full complaint, click the following link: Parker v. City of Durham, et al.(17CVS004101)