Cahokia Police Dept. sued by man alleging civil rights violation

Steve Gonzalez May 15, 2008, 8:37am

A Cahokia man filed suit against the Cahokia Police Department and officer Travis Montgomery in St. Clair County Circuit Court May 9, alleging his civil rights were violated.

Cortez Rogers claims he was at his home at 110 Melvin St. on May 12, 2007, when Montgomery arrived to investigate a noise complaint.

Rogers claims that while police were involved with another person, he walked toward his house to grab his identification when Montgomery, without provocation or any legal justification, came on his property and attempted to stop him from entering his residence.

He claims that Montgomery suddenly threw him to the ground, tasered him twice and handcuffed him, all of which caused severe physical damage.

According to Rogers, Montgomery charged him with various offenses and in an attempt to justify the charges, unlawful detention and tasing, he was charged with resisting a peace officer.

He claims that after the incident Cahokia Police have continually harassed, threatened and violated his constitutional rights with regularity.

"The acts by the defendant constituted grossly excessive force and an illegal seizure in violation of the plaintiff's eighth and fourth amendment rights," the complaint states.

Rogers also claims the Cahokia Police Department violated his rights when it retained Montgomery knowing he was likely to violate the rights of arrestees and gave credence to Montgomery's actions by refusing to dismiss the criminal charges levied against him.

In addition to Montgomery, Rogers lists John Doe and Richard Doe, two unknown police officers as defendants, alleging they witnessed and participated in conduct that violated his constitutional rights.

He claims the conduct of the defendants caused him to suffer personal injuries that caused pain and suffering, loss of freedom, lost wages, and the stigma associated with having an arrest record.

Represented by Jarrod Beasley of The Kuehn Law Firm in Belleville, Rogers is seeking damages in excess of $300,000, plus costs of the suit.

08 L 234 (20th Circuit)

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