Centreville cops sued over alleged abuse during 'Terry stop'

Kelly Holleran Nov. 2, 2011, 8:41am

In a recently filed lawsuit, five Centreville police officers are accused of handcuffing, then beating a compliant man who says he did no wrong.

Reginald Reynolds filed a lawsuit Oct. 27 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against the village of Centreville and Centreville police officers Jerry Davis, Corey Allen, Tony Tomlinson, Henry Dawkins and Officer Thomas.

In his complaint, Reynolds alleges he was attending a relative's barbeque on March 31, 2010, when Davis, Tomlinson and Dawkins conducted a "Terry stop" on him. In Terry stops, officers briefly detain a person on suspicion of involvement in a criminal activity, but without probable cause to arrest that person.

"Shortly after the Terry stop, Defendants Davis, Tomlinson, Dawkins, Allen and Thomas threw the Plaintiff to the ground, pushed his head into the ground, put a taser to the back of his neck, twisted his handcuffs in a violent manner, made verbal threats to the Plaintiff and struck him in the head with their fists," the suit states. "They also choked him and applied finger pressure to pressure points to cause pain to the plaintiff. They also placed their knees into his back."

Following the alleged assault, the police officers arrested Reynolds and transported him the Centreville Police Department, where he was held for three days, the complaint says.

On April 2, Reynolds was released and was not charged with any criminal offenses, according to the complaint.

It was not until Oct. 22, 2010, when police officers charged Reynolds with resisting arrest and unlawful possession of cannabis. Reynolds claims it was coincidental that the charges were filed only days after his attorney requested copies of all police reports, DVDs or recordings relating to Reynolds's April arrest.

Reynolds claims he is innocent and did nothing wrong during the incident. In addition, he says he did not possess cannabis.

Because of the incident, Reynolds experienced mental anguish, physical pain and suffering and incurred medical costs, according to the complaint.

He accuses the defendants of battery, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

In his 20-count complaint, Reynolds is seeking a judgment of more than $850,000 and punitive damages of more than $250,000, plus other relief to which he may be entitled.

Brian L. Polinske of Polinske and Associates in Edwardsville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-609.

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