On the heels of a jury’s verdict handed down this month that Clarence Davis, Jr. did not resist a Forest Park police officer’s efforts to take him into custody, Davis has filed a lawsuit against the officer and the village.
Just four days after being cleared of a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest that stemmed from a 2006 traffic stop, Davis named former police officer Robert Biel and the municipality in a federal complaint. The suit alleges that Biel used excessive force in making a false arrest and violated Davis’ Fourth Amendment rights. Further, claims of malicious prosecution and a failure on the officer’s part to give Davis equal protection under the law are also stated in the suit.
In his complaint, Davis requested a jury trial and is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
Biel resigned from the force following the Jan. 11 circuit court verdict that cleared Davis of the misdemeanor count. Village officials did not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding his resignation, but said Biel’s departure is not specifically related to Davis’ criminal or civil case.
“… In engaging in the above referenced cover-up, which led to the generation of false documentation and criminal charges to be lodged against [Davis], [Biel] failed in his duty to enforce the laws equally and fairly towards the plaintiff…,” a U.S. District Court filing states, in part.
During the course of his arrest in 2006, Davis was stunned with a Taser five times, according to court documents, which prompted an involuntary bowel movement. Police and village officials have disputed much of Davis’ account. In his original arrest report, Biel stated that Davis intentionally defecated in his clothes while in custody at the station.
Village officials have confirmed that Biel failed to properly document the arrest using a dash-mounted video recording system. Discipline was imposed against the officer as a result of that policy violation.
“He’s no longer employed by us,” Village Administrator Mike Sturino said of the officer. “He has resigned from the police department.”
Sturino declined to say whether the village intends to challenge Davis’ claim.