Suspect in taped arrest seeks $1M in damages, costs from officers
A carjacking suspect whose forceful arrest was caught on video last month is seeking more than $1 million from the officers involved.
Andrew Jackson Jr. claims his constitutional rights were violated during the Jan. 12 arrest in Detroit, according to a civil complaint, which demands a jury trial. Jackson also suffered "emotional distress, mental anguish, lost wages, physical illness, medical expenses, injury to reputation, humiliation, mortification and embarrassment," according to the document.
The lawsuit came three days after his arrest and more than two weeks before he was charged with carjacking. It was filed in Wayne County Circuit Court but an attorney for the defendants filed a notice Monday to move the case to federal court.
Footage of his arrest sparked outrage at the officers' actions and calls for criminal charges.
The complaint lists Highland Park police Officer Ronald Dupuis and unidentified Grosse Pointe Park officers, who were part of a stolen car task force, as defendants.
"We're pursuing this civil matter on behalf of our society," said attorney Herbert Sanders, who is representing Jackson. "To allow for a lynch mob mentality in the ... case is to suggest that it might be OK in another circumstance, then another."
Nikkiya Branch, the Highland Park assistant city attorney representing Dupuis and the city, said: "I believe that after discovery, the facts will show no wrongdoing was committed."
Lawyers for Grosse Pointe Park did not respond to requests for comment.
Jackson's complaint alleges police were "grossly negligent, deliberately indifferent and so reckless that it demonstrated a substantial lack of concern for whether the plaintiff would live or die."
It also claims the officers were "not fit for duty" and owed Jackson, who didn't resist arrest, "a duty to act prudently and with reasonable care and to otherwise avoid the use of unnecessary, unreasonable, excessive and/or deadly force."
The case surfaced when a Detroit resident filmed an undercover Grosse Pointe Park sergeant and Dupuis responding as part of the ACTION stolen car task force, as they were apprehending Jackson. Hours earlier, the parole absconder had allegedly pointed a gun at a Detroit woman and her two grandsons, then stole her vehicle.
The video, posted on Facebook, showed Dupuis striking Jackson repeatedly while apparently trying to handcuff him and at least once after he was shackled.
Dupuis has had a history of violence in several police departments, including using a Taser on his partner on the Hamtramck force in an argument over a soft drink, according to court records.
Jackson, who was arraigned Feb. 4 on multiple charges related to the carjacking, is scheduled for a March 3 preliminary examination. He suffered injuries to his head, right eye, ribs and legs, according to the court filing, and has also complained about his vision and is "pretty emotionally distraught," Sanders said.
The aim of the court action, Sanders said, is "deterring this type of police misconduct and brutality in the future."
The Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality called for criminal and civil charges and the suspension of the officers involved. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan asked Michigan State Police to investigate the officers' actions.
State police this month submitted results of their probe to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office, which was conducting its own investigation.
Not everyone decried the officers' conduct. The woman who was the carjacking victim told The Detroit News she and her grandchildren were "pretty shaken" after the incident, adding she felt the officers' actions that day were justified.