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|Atlanta police sued for alleged illegal strip searches|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|October 04, 2011 14:16|
Five men who allege they were illegally strip searched in public by Atlanta Police Department officers are suing Mayor Kasim Reed and 14 police officers in federal court, saying their constitutional rights were violated.
"These were not isolated incidents. The Atlanta Police Department for years has a pattern and practice of strip searching people in public, pulling down their pants, exposing them to public view, without probable cause, in violation of the law," Grossman said.
Grossman represented the Atlanta Eagle plaintiffs in their successful federal lawsuit against the city for the botched police raid on the gay bar that resulted in the city settling for more than $1 million. He is also representing 10 more Eagle plaintiffs in a second lawsuit stemming from the Sept. 10, 2009, raid.
APD spokesperson Carlos Campos said the department does not comment on pending litigation.
Mayor Reed issued a statement Tuesday evening. The statement reads in part:
"Since I have been Mayor, I have worked not only to make Atlanta citizens safer, but also to improve their relationship with the sworn officers of the Atlanta Police Department. I firmly believe that the vast majority of our men and women in blue respect both the law and the rights and dignity of our citizens. They chose to become police officers to serve, protect, and when necessary, place themselves in harm’s way.
Defendants are Mayor Reed and Officers Stalone Davis, Brandon Jackson, Christopher Lanier, Cayenne Mayes, Juan Ortiz, Reginald Pettis, Dimitri Caldwell, Antonio Blasini, Zoel Murphy, Luca Amarena, Victor Guevara, Derek Chao, Darnell Perry and John Doe 1. John Doe 1 is described in the lawsuit as an African-American male. The lawsuit lists a specific officer who may be John Doe 1 but is not certain that the officer was involved.
Photo: Dan Grossman, who represented the Atlanta Eagle plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit, is representing five men who allege the Atlanta Police Department illegally strip searched them in public. (by Dyana Bagby)
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