Indianapolis man sues City of Fort Wayne, FWPD officer for handling of Summer 2020 protests

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — An Indianapolis man is suing the City of Fort Wayne and a FWPD officer for their handling of the Summer 2020 protests, claiming his constitutional rights were violated.

According to a complaint filed in Allen Superior Court in June, it’s alleged that on May 30, 2020, Jalen S.R. Brown was in town staying at an Airbnb located about a 15-minute walk away from downtown. The two decided to take a walk downtown where they witnessed protesters assembling.

Brown claims he asked a random person what was going on and the person replied, “We are protesting for Black Lives Matter and police brutality,” the complaint said. Brown claims that he and his partner did not take part in the protest and had no intentions of getting involved.

When Brown and his companion heard the protesters were going to continue their actions at a park, they followed. A short time later, FWPD officers told Brown and others to disperse. As Brown was leaving, more police officers got out of a truck in riot gear and started throwing smoke grenades towards him and others, telling them to get to the ground, the complaint said.

Brown was then arrested and taken to the Allen County Jail on a charge of Trespassing, which was later dismissed. Brown was held in the Allen County Jail from May 30 until June 1.

As a result, Brown claims he suffered mental anguish, emotional harm and distress, along with other damages and injuries, the complaint said.

Brown is suing the city for being wrongfully seized, detained, arrested, and taken to jail, which violates his rights under the Fourth Amendment.

The lawsuit also names FWPD Officer Shane Pulver as a defendant. Pulver is being sued for violating Brown’s constitutional rights to be free from excessive force under the Fourth Amendment, along with violating Brown’s First Amendment right to free speech.

Brown is demanding damages totaling $25,000.

This lawsuit was moved to the U.S. District Court on July 22. The city and Officer Pulver have until Aug. 26 to respond.

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