FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The city of Fort Wayne now faces additional allegations as part of an excessive force lawsuit that came out of a racial justice protest in the city last year.
Balin Brake, with the help of the ACLU of Indiana, is suing the city after he lost an eye when an unidentified Fort Wayne Police officer fired a tear gas canister at the then-21-year-old’s face while he was protesting in downtown Fort Wayne.
Brake and the ACLU alleged the officer used excessive force in the May 30, 2020, incident.
After the incident, Fort Wayne Police issued a “statement on eye injury” that claimed Brake was bending over to throw a canister back when a second canister skipped up and hit him in the eye. The city also claimed in court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana that Brake was running from a line of officers at the time and was not peacefully protesting.
A Washington Post analysis of the incident, though, found the second canister did not skip before it struck Brake, and that he had moved away from officers and was standing near a street corner when he was hit. Video also shows that Brake did not bend over and no canister was near him to throw back, the Post reported.
In a motion filed in federal court last month, Brake sought to amend his complaint against the city to add claims of assault and battery as well as intentional infliction of emotional distress on top of the excessive force charge. In an order Monday, a federal magistrate granted the motion after the city failed to respond.
The city now has until April 19 to answer the amended complaint.