ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis resident is suing police officers citing alleged assault, battery and use of excessive force.
Bruce Franks Jr. filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against
St. Louis County Police Officer David Steinmeyer, city of Berkeley Police Officers Evelio Valdespino and John Doe 1 and St. Louis County Police Officer John Doe 2 alleging that they caused life-threatening injuries, pain and suffering.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on Dec. 24, 2014, he suffered severe pain and physical injuries including lacerations and bruising on his face and head, a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder, a concussion and bruises on his legs due to repeated strikes with a baton, as well as intense burning pain in his eyes as a result of the defendants’ use of pepper spray. He suffered these injuries while volunteering as a "peacekeeper," helping de-escalate a tense situation between police and protesters, the complaint states. At no point during the incident did the plaintiff accost, assault or otherwise provoke the defendants.
The plaintiff holds the defendants responsible because they allegedly filed charges against the plaintiff without legal or factual merit, abused the plaintiff under color of law and authority as sworn police officers, deprived the plaintiff from his right to be free from the use of excessive force and fabricated charges against the plaintiff to justify or avoid liability for the unlawful arrest and heinous treatment of plaintiff.
The plaintiff seeks judgment against the defendants, compensatory damages, punitive damages, costs of action, attorneys’ fees and other such relief as the court deems fair. He is represented by Thomas B. Harvey, Michael John Voss, Blake A. Strode, Edward J. Hall, Nathaniel R. Carroll and Joshua Canavan of ArchCity Defenders Inc. in St. Louis.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Case number 16-cv-02138