Lawsuit filed in realtor handcuffing case

Michigan

Realtor Eric Brown and his client Roy Thorne said they were racially profiled, but the Wyoming Department of Public Safety (WDPS) says it was standard procedure. (Wyoming Department of Public Safety)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Lawyers representing a local realtor, home buyer and the home buyer’s son who were put in handcuffs while showing a home in Wyoming have filed a lawsuit alleging the incident was racially motivated.

The lawsuit filed in federal court Friday names the defendants as the city of Wyoming, Wyoming Department of Public Safety Chief Kim Koster, WDPS Officers Logan Wieber, Lee Atkinson, Devin Quintard, Arrow Kotarak, Zachary Johnson and WDPS Sgt. Brian Look.

It alleges that law enforcement officers are guilty of excessive force, assault and battery, and racial profiling during the Aug. 1 incident. Five counts in the lawsuit include unlawful detainment and excessive force, equal protection, assault and battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It also demands a trail by jury.

Realtor Eric Brown, his client Roy Thorne and Thorne’s son were put in handcuffs during a showing after armed Wyoming police officers responded to the house on a report of a break-in.

Brown and Thorne said they were racially profiled, but the Wyoming Department of Public Safety said it was standard procedure.

City of Wyoming spokesperson Brianna Peña said in a statement to News 8 Thursday, “The City of Wyoming does not comment on pending litigation.”

In August, WDPS released a statement with additional details about the incident.

“Community members and the media have asked for a response regarding whether or not the race of the Realtor and his clients played a role in the police response to this incident,” the statement said in part. “After a thorough internal review of the actions of each of our public safety officers who responded to this incident, we have concluded race played no role in our officers’ treatment of the individuals who were briefly detained, and our officers responded appropriately. While it is unfortunate that innocent individuals were placed in handcuffs, our officers responded reasonably and according to department policy based on the information available to them at the time.”

The suit asks for compensatory and punitive damages in an amount to be determined by a jury, as well as attorney fees and costs.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Michigan Headlines

More Michigan

StormTracker 6 Radar