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Harvey v. Florissant Police Department

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

February 22, 2018

DERRICK JEROME HARVEY, Plaintiff,
v.
FLORISSANT POLICE DEPARTMENT, UNKNOWN OFFICER LEO, and UNKNOWN OFFICER MAKIK, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          CATHERINE D. PERRY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on initial review of pro se plaintiff Derrick Jerome Harvey's amended complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e).

         Background

         On November 16, 2017, the Court issued a Memorandum and Order granting plaintiff in forma pauperis status and waiving his filing fee. Because plaintiff had named only the Florissant Police Department as a defendant, however, the complaint was subject to dismissal. See ECF No. 5. Because of the serious nature of plaintiff's allegations, the Court allowed plaintiff to amend his complaint. On December 5, 2017, plaintiff filed an amended complaint.

         Standard of Review

         Under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court is required to dismiss a complaint filed in forma pauperis if it is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. To state a claim for relief, a complaint must plead more than “legal conclusions” and “[t]hreadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action [that are] supported by mere conclusory statements.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009). A plaintiff must demonstrate a plausible claim for relief, which is more than a “mere possibility of misconduct.” Id. at 679. “A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id. at 678. Determining whether a complaint states a plausible claim for relief is a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense. Id. at 679.

         When reviewing a complaint under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e), the Court accepts the well-pled facts as true. Furthermore, the Court liberally construes the allegations.

         The Amended Complaint

         Plaintiff brings his amended complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging defendants City of Florissant, and Florissant Police Officers Unknown Leo and Unknown Malik violated his constitutional rights.

         Plaintiff states that on November 3, 2017, he stopped at a QuickTrip gas station on his way to work. Inside the store, plaintiff and a sales associate exchanged heated words. As he left the store, plaintiff was met outside by a Florissant police officer. The police officer asked plaintiff if everything was all right, and plaintiff responded yes. As he continued walking to his van, however, three or four Florissant police vehicles approached. These officers asked to see plaintiff's driver's license. Because plaintiff had an outstanding warrant for a traffic violation in Hazelwood, he was taken into custody by Florissant police.

         At the Florissant police station, plaintiff states he was brutally attacked by Officer Leo and thrown to the ground. Plaintiff states that while on the ground with his hands behind his back, Officer Leo placed his knee on plaintiff's neck. Plaintiff yelled that he could not breathe. Officer Leo hit plaintiff in the jaw, kicked him in the groin, and kneed him in the head. Plaintiff's head hit the wall, and he was seriously injured. Both officers quickly rushed plaintiff to the hospital where plaintiff told medical personnel that he feared for his life.

         After arriving back at the Florissant police department from the hospital, Hazelwood police attempted to place plaintiff in custody on his traffic warrant. Plaintiff was still in severe pain, and Hazelwood police transported him to DePaul Hospital where plaintiff was diagnosed with a bruised hernia.

         Plaintiff seeks monetary damages against defendants arising out of ...


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