The City of Lafayette is facing yet another Civil Rights lawsuit filed against the Lafayette Police Department in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana on April 7, 2014. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Andrew Phillips of Lafayette.
|Andrew Phillips claims Officer Webb violated his civil rights.|
The suit alleges that on January 7, 2013 LPD officers Jeffrey Webb and Ron Dombkowski knocked on Phillips's door at his home located at 807 S. 29th Street. They reportedly asked to search his home. The request was denied, and Phillips asked to see a search warrant. When the officers could not produce a warrant, they asked the Plaintiff to step outside to speak with them.
The Plaintiff reportedly advised the officers that he would speak with them in his yard. When Phillips exited the home he was asked for identification. He refused to provide identification and asked why so many officers were present. He was told to remove his hands from his clothing, which he did.
Phillips was then asked to consent to a search after he told the officers he had a gun inside. Phillips reportedly refused to allow the officers to search. Webb then reportedly drew his gun and put it in "low ready at Plantiff's knees."
Phillips claims that at that point he was "physically spun around and had his hands placed above his head." He claims he was then searched by Webb without consent.
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The suit alleges that Phillips was deprived of his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure.
"At no time did facts and circumstances that Plaintiff was 'armed and dangerous' permitting a pat down by law enforcement," read a portion of the complaint. "Because no reasonable suspicion existed at the time of the search of the Plaintiff, or at any other relevant time, no reasonable officer could have believed Webb's actions were within bounds of the law."
The lawsuit also alleges that Webb committed battery against Phillips "by intentionally touching Plaintiff's body in a rude, insolent, or offensive, harmful manner Webb did inflict a battery upon Plaintiff."
Lafayette attorney Kirk Freeman is representing Phillips who is asking $100,000 in damages.
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