WBOC: SPD Officer Faces Two Lawsuits Alleging Excessive Force
- March 2, 2017
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Originally Published in WBOC
SALISBURY, Md.- It is the second time in one week that a lawsuit has been filed against the Salisbury Police Department and one of its officers.
In the first lawsuit, Attorney Luke Rommel is representing Curtis Adams, a recent Salisbury graduate, Travis Guthrie and Abdi Gelata.
Rommel alleges that officer Justin Aita used excessive force when arresting Adams outside the Salisbury University Tunnel the night of May 3. Adams said he was among 20 to 30 people who were leaving a bar shortly after a fight broke out. Adams tells WBOC he does not know why the officer pursued him. Rommel tells WBOC the answer is still unclear.
” I never spoke a word to the cop, never said anything to him, never talked to him,” Adams said. “He immediately starts kneeing me in the stomach, in the side and pushed my face down.”
Rommel describes cell phone footage, which captured the entire encounter.
“The injuries to Curtis are generally consistent with being tackled to the ground by surprise,” Rommel said. “ Force was used and force did not have to be used, initiated or escalated.”
Rommel said he filed this lawsuit the day after Labor Day, just one week before filing a second lawsuit against the same cop Friday in U.S. District Court. He said 14-year-old Renaldo Mesadieu and his aunt, Alexandra Francois, were assaulted by the officer Aug. 11.