Fort Wayne Police Say Officer’s Lawsuit Is Slander, Defamation

 FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — Four Fort Wayne police officers are alleging slander and defamation by a black probation officer accusing them of violating her constitutional rights.
Carolyn M. Trier, an attorney for the officers and the city, submitted court documents Monday seeking permission to file a counterclaim against Allen County probation officer Keiona Harrison, The Journal Gazette reported .

Harrison filed a federal lawsuit last year against the city, Detectives Robert Hollo and George Nicklow, and Officers Christopher Hawthorne and Julie McConnell. The lawsuit alleges the officers racially profiled her and used excessive force when she saw her cousin under arrest outside a pharmacy in May 2017.

Hollo grabbed her in a hostile manner and kept her handcuffed for at least 10 minutes after her cousin asked her to call his family, the lawsuit said. McConnell cavity-searched Harrison twice, while Nicklow and Hawthorne supervised and didn’t stop the search, which is unconstitutional, the complaint said.

Harrison wasn’t charged in the incident, according to court records. She’s seeking at least $150,000 in damages, according to a letter sent to the city by her lawyer, Christopher C. Myers.

Trier said Harrison knowingly made false statements with the intent of injuring the officers’ reputations and interfering with their employment.

It was the officers who were injured in the encounter, Trier said.

The proposed counterclaim seeks damages for “emotional and mental harm, emotional anguish, embarrassment, humiliation and the damages to their character and reputation.”

Both parties seek to have a jury hear the case.

A judge hasn’t yet ruled on the counterclaim request, according to records.


Information from: The Journal Gazette,


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