Couple files suit against police
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
The response of three Hartselle police officers to a domestic dispute complaint on Nanceford Road has resulted in a lawsuit being filed against the city by a local couple.
In a lawsuit filed in Morgan County Circuit Court, John P. and Ozell B. Davis of 1153 Nanceford Road claim the officers unlawfully broke into their home at approximately 9 p.m.on Nov. 8, 2005, and caused them to suffer “severe emotional distress and mental anguish.” They also claim the action of the officers caused John Davis to experience “cardiac arrhythmia” and incur medical expenses that should be reimbursed by the city. They are represented by Decatur attorney Jerry Knight.
The officers named in the lawsuit are Brad Freeman,James Fulton and Kelly Roberts.
Mayor Dwight Tankersley said the lawsuit is being handled by the city’s insurance carrier.
He acknowledged that the couple made a claim for damages against the city in December 2005. He said City Attorney Larry Madison advised the city council to deny the claim and place the matter in the hands of the city’s insurance carrier.
The lawsuit alleges that the officers “forcibly” entered the Davis home with their weapons pointed at the occupants. It also claims that the city failed to properly train its officers about when to point a weapon and that they were improperly supervised. They were also accused of trespassing and assaulting the couple.
The lawsuit also states the officers did not have a search warrant, an arrest warrant or probable cause for believing that the Davises had committed a crime.
Knight is asking for a jury trial and wants the city to reimburse the Davises for their medical expenses, attorney fees and “punitive damages in such amount as the jury might deem appropriate.”