A man has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Baton Rouge Police Department, claiming that he was detained under false information, was needlessly endangered and had his constitutional rights violated.
According to TheAdvocate.com, Raheem Howard filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge on Feb. 5 after he was arrested in August for fleeing a police officer who stopped him for a missing license plate. According to allegations from Yuseff Hamadeh, the police officer who stopped Howard, Howard shot at Hamadeh while fleeing the scene, yet it was later discovered that Howard never possessed a gun at the time of the incident and that the only shot fired came from the officer’s gun.
Law professor Bill Quigley of Loyola University commented on police misconduct cases and the challenges that they bring.
"Police civil rights misconduct cases are really challenging,” Quigley told Louisiana Record. “But if the facts that are outlined in this case can be proven, this is a good claim.”
William Quigley Photo courtesy of Loyola University New Orleans
Howard turned himself in several weeks after the incident and was held with counts of attempted murder of a police officer, as well as illegal use of a firearm.
Howard’s lawsuit states that Hamadeh’s lie about his actions caused fear of death on the part of the plaintiff, as the law enforcement of Baton Rouge searched for the alleged shooter, who was later found to have not been in possession of a firearm at all.
“These cases are always hard-fought, so the public should expect it will take a long time for this to come to trial,” Quigley said.
Hamadeh may face criminal prosecution, as he was found to have lied in order to carry out the arrest of Howard. Hamadeh was involved in a fatal shooting in 2017 in which he killed an individual fleeing from the scene of a traffic stop.