ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis resident is suing several police officers citing alleged assault, battery and excessive force.
Bruce Franks 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 Officer Evelio Valdespino, city of Berkeley Police Officer 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. 23, 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, bruises on his legs due to repeated strikes with a baton and intense burning pain in his eyes as a result of the defendants’ use of pepper spray. He sustained those injuries doing his volunteer work as a "peacekeeper" in helping de-escalate a tense situation at a Mobil station between police and protesters. At no point during the incident did the plaintiff accost, assault or otherwise provoke the the officers' actions, the complaint states.
The plaintiff holds the defendants responsible because they allegedly filed charges against him without legal or factual merit, abused him under color of law and authority as sworn police officers, deprived him of the right to be free from the use of excessive force and fabricated and contrived charges against him to justify or avoid liability for the unlawful arrest and heinous treatment.
The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and 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 Missouri Case number 16-cv-02138