The city of Fort Wayne denies liability in protester lawsuit

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The city of Fort Wayne has responded to the ACLU of Indiana and a man who lost an eye after being struck with a tear gas canister during police brutality protests in late May.

The lawsuit alleges Fort Wayne Police used excessive force when an unidentified officer fired a tear gas canister that struck 21-year-old Balin Brake in the face May 30. Brake suffered fractured facial bones in four places and his eye was ruptured, and doctors were forced to remove it later.

According to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, the city denies that Brake was peacefully protesting.

The city further denies that Mr. Brake was running from a line of officers at the time and that officers shot him. The officer referred to as ‘John Doe’ was acting in the course and scope of his employment under the color of law.

The city admits that the chemical munition that hit Brake ‘did not skip or bounce’ and was ‘deployed in the air to a previously unoccupied area.’ Documents go on to say that ‘plaintiff’s injuries were not the result of his own actions they were the result of the actions of other non-parties and not defendants.’

If the case is not settled, it will go trial. No court date has been set.

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