Monday, October 29, 2012

Suit filed over police beating of Ferneau customer

Posted By on Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 1:14 PM

AFTER THE BEATING: Chris Erwin in photograph after his arrest last year.
  • AFTER THE BEATING: Chris Erwin in photograph after his arrest last year.
Chris Erwin and Blake Mitchell have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Little Rock Police Lt. David Hudson, Police Chief Stuart Thomas, the city of Little Rock and Donnie Ferneau, a former Hillcrest restaurant owner, over their arrest at the restaurant Oct. 29.

Erwin was beaten by Hudson, employed by Ferneau's as a private security guard, seemingly for objecting to Hudson's order that he leave the restaurant. He was charged with trespass, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Mitchell wasn't beaten, but also was arrested for obstructing government operations, trespass, disorderly conduct and public intoxication. The charges were dismissed in Sherwood District Court after police failed to comply with the defense's efforts to obtain records about Hudson's past disciplinary history.

The men filed complaints with the department on Hudson's actions. The lawsuit said they had had no response from the Police Department.

Here's the full lawsuit, filed by Keith Hall and Erin Cassinelli.

The suit says the actions were taken without probable cause and cites a laundry list of failings on the part of the officer, the department that trained him and the restaurant that employed him. The lawsuit also raises an issue that exists in another pending lawsuit over actions by Little Rock police acting as private security in the death of Eugene Ellison.

At all relevant times, including a period of years prior to October 29, 2012, Defendant Thomas knowingly, and/or with reckless or callous indifference to the constitutional rights of the citizens of Little Rock, permitted and/or maintained a widespread custom and practice of permitting acts of excessive force and unlawful arrest by LRPD officers by covering up allegations of police excessive force and/or performing meaningless internal affairs investigations intended to exonerate officers against whom such allegations were charged. This pattern of police misconduct is so pervasive as to constitute a ‘custom or usage’ with the force of law.

The customs and practices described above were the moving force behind violations of Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights committed by Defendant Hudson and proximately caused Plaintiffs’ personal injuries, economic injuries, pain, suffering and other injuries.

As I wrote this week, Little Rock police use of force needs a thorough review, lawsuits or no lawsuits.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (12)

Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-12 of 12

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • The assault on Obamacare begins

    Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • Two dead in North Little Rock shooting

    two people were fatally wounded about 9 p.m. Friday in a home in the 1400 block of Division Street, North Little Rock.
    • Jan 21, 2017
  • 2nd Amendment meets the 1st in Fayetteville on campus carry

    They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
    • Jan 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

People who saved…

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

1.73-carat diamond found at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Jack Pearadin and Doug Nelsen found a 1.73-carat diamond after nearly a year of searching the park's field.

Most Viewed

  • Bill filed to exempt certain police body-cam and dash-cam recordings from FOI

    Rep. Jeff Williams (R-Springdale) filed a bill yesterday to exempt any recordings from police body-worn cameras or dash cameras that is deemed "relevant to an investigation conducted by a law enforcement agency" from disclosure under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
  • State Treasurer staffer resigns after offensive comments

    Treasurer Dennis Milligan today announced he has accepted the resignation of Hunter Hatcher, an Outreach Coordinator for the Treasurer's office. Hatcher publicly stated on social media that because Donald Trump was taking office, "Gay jokes are back on ya bunch of homos," and also made derogatory comments (in the form of lame jokes) regarding the role of women.
  • Collins files campus carry bill

    As expected, Rep. Charlie Collins yesterday filed a bill to force public universities and colleges to allow staff members to carry concealed handguns.
  • What's next for Hillary Clinton?

    Politico's Gabriel Debenedetti, filing from Little Rock, reports on the future plans of Hillary Clinton in the wake of her loss in the presidential election
  • UALR joins LRU in dead acronyms file

    Chancellor Andrew Rogerson has announced to staff that UALR will be known henceforth as UA Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Collins files campus carry bill

    • Hubby and I are sitting in the Old South in Russellville, listening to 60s music…

    • on January 24, 2017
  • Re: What's next for Hillary Clinton?

    • Let's hope the fact that HRC and Wasserman Schultz railroaded Bernie Sanders is given given…

    • on January 24, 2017
  • Re: Collins files campus carry bill

    • If Arkansas legislators were really serious about Second Amendment rights, they'd eliminate the dangerous gun-free…

    • on January 24, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation