Pullman police officers are facing yet another use of force lawsuit.
This is the second lawsuit filed in three months. The first was filed on Aug. 15, 2018 after a man said officers broke his arm, dislocated his elbow, tased him and choked him until he passed out.
The most recent suit was filed on Oct. 30, 2018 by Treshon Broughton. The lawsuit claims Broughton was tased and beaten by Pullman police officers Alex Gordon, Shane Emerson and 10 other officers who have not yet been identified. As of Monday, the officers had not responded to the lawsuit.
Surveillance footage of the incident is being shared across social media. KREM has put in a request for the video.
According to the lawsuit, Broughton was at Bob’s Corner Market on Feb. 18, 2017 picking up a personal belonging that he had left at the store earlier in the day. While Broughton was in the store, 911 had been called but the caller told the dispatcher “everything had been figured out such that no further assistance was needed,” the lawsuit stated.
Police dispatch notified the officers that the issue had been resolved but the officers showed up anyway, the lawsuit said.
According to the lawsuit, Broughton was talking to the store clerk when Emerson asked him for his identification.
The lawsuit says, “Broughton attempted to comply with Emerson’s demands by retrieving his driver’s license but was not given sufficient time to fully comply with the demand.”
Before Broughton could give Emerson his ID, he “grabbed Broughton’s arm and started to physically assault Broughton and force Broughton to the ground,” the lawsuit said.
During the struggle, Broughton’s driver’s license fell to the floor and was picked up by another officer, according to the suit.
The lawsuit claims, “Gordon was present during the contact and was aware that there was no legal cause to seize the Plaintiff and knew that Officer Emerson’s actions were unlawful. Nevertheless, Defendant Gordon began to use violent, physical force upon the Plaintiff in conjunction with Defendant Emerson’s use of excessive force upon Broughton.”
The lawsuit states that Emerson and Gordon “repeatedly struck Broughton including striking Broughton upon his head.”
Broughton was restrained with his arms behind his back when, “Gordon used a taser device and shot a probe into Broughton’s body,” according to the lawsuit.
Then, medics were called to remove the barbed darts from Broughton, documents said. Immediately after, “Emerson then kneeled on top of the Plaintiff’s neck and handcuffed the Plaintiff during which time Plaintiff was physically restrained by Defendant Gordon.”
The lawsuit claims, “Broughton did not commit any crime or resist or obstruct the Defendant officers” and that “Emerson and Gordon unlawfully detained, arrested and used violent and excessive force upon Plaintiff…” Documents also said the officers arrested Broughton without probable cause and charged him with obstructing law enforcement officers and resisting arrest.
The lawsuit claims, “Gordon and Emerson prepared police reports which intentionally misrepresented events in an effort to support the false criminal charges and in an effort to justify the officers unlawful conduct and were done with malice and with an intent to deprive the Plaintiff of his civil rights and constitutional rights.”
The criminal charges against Broughton were later dropped, according to documents.
Broughton is suing the officers for unlawful seizure, false arrest/false imprisonment, unreasonable/excessive force, failure to inform, malicious prosecution, assault/battery, intentional and/or negligent infliction of emotional distress, defamation and false light. They are seeking a jury trial.
KREM 2 reached out to Pullman Police for comment Monday. On Wednesday, they issued a statement saying, "When the public calls for help, our officers respond, and the City of Pullman takes very seriously any allegations about how our officers conduct themselves when faced with difficult situations. We train our officers to ensure the safety of all members of our community and treat everyone with respect and we will continue to conduct ongoing reviews of our policies. It is important for us to be as transparent as possible but we cannot comment further on matter that are in litigation."