NOPD officer named in assault and battery lawsuit

Kyle Barnett Feb. 8, 2012, 4:44pm

NEW ORLEANS – A New Orleans woman has filed suit against the city for mistreatment she claims to have received at the hands of police officers.

Rebecca Squyres filed suit on Feb. 2 in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court against the City of New Orleans, Police Chief Ronal Serpas, the New Orleans Police Department and two of its officers.

Squyres claims she was transporting her intoxicated uncle and a friend home when she was stopped by officer Christopher Johnson for going the wrong way on a one way street.

The plaintiff alleges she complied with officer Johnson's request for her to exit the vehicle and that when she reached him he forcefully placed her in a pair of handcuffs. Squyres claims the handcuffs bruised her wrists and cut off circulation to her hands resulting in continuing and intermittent long-term damages.

The plaintiff claims that placing her in handcuffs exceeded permissible requirements and constituted an invasion of the her rights to be free of unreasonable search and seizure.

The filing states the officer said his name was "Ralph Lauren" when questioned by the plaintiff and that he was taking her to jail for an offense that ordinarily are handled through citation and summons. The charges against the plaintiff were later dismissed.

The defendants are being accused of assault and battery, malicious prosecution, false arrest and excessive force. The plaintiff also claims her arrest was subsequent to faulty policies, procedures and customs of the New Orleans Police Department as outlined by the Department of Justice.

An unspecified amount in damages is being sought for pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, medical expenses, punitive damages and attorney's fees.

Squyres is being represented by New Orleans-based attorneys Christian M. Cormada and Claude J. Kelly.

The case has been assigned to Division F Judge Christopher J. Bruno.

Case number 2012-01022

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