Detroit Cops Beat Students for Recording; Deleting Footage While Calling Them "Faggot Tree Huggers," Lawsuit Claims - PINAC News
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Detroit Cops Beat Students for Recording; Deleting Footage While Calling Them “Faggot Tree Huggers,” Lawsuit Claims

On June 23, 2014, Mekkel Richards and Adam Malinowski were leaving a fireworks show in Detroit.

As the two young men walked down the street, they saw Detroit police officers push a man to the ground and hit him repeatedly.

After seeing the officers bloody the man’s face and hearing him scream for help, both Richards and Malinowski began recording video with their cell phone while standing at a distance from the incident.

Richards, a journalism student at a nearby Oakland Unversity, was 25 feet from the officers as they continued striking the man on the ground. Malinowski was 40 feet away.

They were quickly approached by five officers – Gadwell, Reizin, Lopez, Petroff, and Sergeant Brannock –and told the following:

Get the fuck back,”
“Put your phone away, you can’t be videotaping,”
“You can’t be here,”
“You’re interfering.”

As Richards moved back, away from the cops, Gadwell shoved Richards backwards with both hands, causing the student to fall backwards over a patio chair and onto his back.

Officer Gadwell then said, “I told you to get the fuck away,” and punched Richards in the face, knocking the student to the ground.

While lying on pavement, Richards shouted to Malinowski, “Are you recording this?”

“Yes!” answered Malinowski.

Officer Gadwell then ran at Malinowski, put him in a headlock, slammed him to the ground, put him in handcuffs and smashed his cell phone against a tree.

After Richards was handcuffed as well, an officer told the young men they were a “couple of faggot tree huggers that take the whole rights thing too seriously.”

Assistant Police Chief Dolunt, who saw the whole thing, said Richards and Malinowski were”fucking idiots that are going to jail tonight…they need to be
taught a lesson.”

The officers then searched Richards’ cell phone and deleted several videos.

After being taken to jail, the two men were charged with “interfering with a city official,” and released the next day.

Before trial Malinowski agreed to a deferred prosecution in order to make the charge disappear. Richards refused to take a deal and at trial the officers failed to appear and the charge was dropped.

Now both men are suing the police and the city for violating their First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendment rights, using excessive force, conspiring to violate their civil rights, assault and battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The lawsuit is below, and the city of Detroit may want to re-think the cost of employing officers to assault citizens and cover it up. Lawsuits can be expensive. And Detroit is the last city to afford them.

 

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