Lawsuit claims Muncie officers used excessive force during arrest caught on video

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MUNCIE, Ind. – A man arrested in a viral video on Sunday has filed a lawsuit against the City of Muncie and four police officers.

Joshua Douglas, 36, claims the officers used “unreasonable, discriminatory, and excessive force” in violation of the Fourth Amendment, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday.  He also claims other officers on the scene failed to intervene.

Douglas is seeking compensatory and punitive damages against the officers for the “state tort wrongs of assault and battery used against him,” the lawsuit says.

Police said Sunday that Douglas threw a bag containing 65 grams of crystal meth while running from police. When officers apprehended him in a Taco Bell parking lot, police said Douglass resisted and refused to show his hands.

After he was in custody, the lawsuit claims the officers “forcefully slammed him onto the blacktop” and “started yelling ‘stop resisting’ at Mr. Douglas to misleadingly create the impression that Mr. Douglas was resisting the four officers pinning him to the pavement, even though Mr. Douglas was unable to move and was in no manner threatening or posing a danger to any officer or bystander present.”

A bystander recorded a video of the incident that shows at least one officer punching Douglas.

Chief Joe Winkle told CBS4 that he believes the officers followed the necessary protocol for a person resisting arrest. He added that the officers didn’t know if Douglas had a weapon on him.

The lawsuit claims Douglass suffered physical injury, trauma, emotional distress, and mental anguish due to the incident. He’s seeking “whatever amount a judge and jury may find reasonable,” according to the lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Douglass is facing charges of resisting law enforcement, dealing methamphetamine, and possession of a narcotic.

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