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Coldwater officer at heart of excessive force lawsuit no longer on the job

Coldwater police officer Lewis Eastmead, who is at the center of a federal lawsuit claiming excessive force, is no longer with the department. (WWMT)

Coldwater police officer Lewis Eastmead, who is at the center of a federal lawsuit claiming excessive force, is no longer with the department.

Eastmead is accused of grabbing a woman and slamming her to the floor during an arrest. Video of the incident was captured by Branch County Jail surveillance cameras. Several other officers are present in the video, and some also are named in the lawsuit filed Dec. 11 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

In the suit, which seeks at least $75,000 in damages, McNeil said she was grabbed by the hair and slammed to the floor while hand-cuffed. The officer then proceeded to deliver knee-strikes to her unconscious body.

The video shows the officer body-slamming McNeil to the floor, where she ends up lying in a pool of her own blood.

McNeil's attorney, Solomon Radner, said Eastmead and several other officers then tried to cover-up what happened at the jail by lying in police reports.

“The cover-up started almost immediately. Unfortunately for them, we have audio and video recordings of what took place and they're not going to be able to hide from that,” Radner said. “The bottom line is that officer Eastmead grabbed her, spun her around, threw her face first into the concrete with such force that it knocked her unconscious."

McNeil has moved to the Detroit area saying she is afraid to go back to Coldwater.

Follow Walter Smith-Randolph on Twitter and on Facebook.


Read more:

Coldwater police sued for excessive force




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