Pennsylvania Record

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Trio sues police department, citing false allegations

By Carol Ostrow | Jun 9, 2015

| Shutterstock

Three Philadelphia residents brought a lawsuit against a municipality and four police officers alleging civil rights violation in 2013.

Vanessa McKnight, Galen Bullock and Michael McClary sued the city of Philadelphia and Officers Joseph Sperry, Rameen Johnson, Antoinette Renee Byrd and Michael Zimmerman in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania on May 26,

on multiple allegations in a May 2013 incident.

According to the filing, McClary observed a car accident involving Bullock on or about May 26, 2013, and witnessed Officers Sperry and Johnson questioning Bullock about alcohol consumption without providing him any Miranda warnings. The suit states that McClary tried to inform the police that Bullock was a passenger; that the driver had left the scene; and that Bullock needed medical attention.

The complaint states that the two officers transported Bullock to the police station while McClary stayed with the vehicle, which belonged to McKnight’s daughter; and that when the officers returned to the scene, they arrested McClary, phoned McKnight to retrieve the vehicle, stole money from the vehicle, and fabricated evidence.

Collectively citing assault and battery, false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution, conversion of property, and reckless indifference for their rights, the plaintiffs allege lost earnings, earning capacity, enjoyment of life and freedom, pain and suffering, inconvenience and distress; and medical expenses.

The plaintiffs seek exemplary and punitive damages in excess of $150,000; attorney’s fees, and court costs. They are represented by David Wesley Cornish of Cornerstone Legal Group in Philadelphia.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case 2:15-cv-02941-GP

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