WYOMING, Mich. — A West Michigan realtor and his client are suing the Wyoming Police Department and the city after they say they were mistakenly handcuffed while looking at a home.
On Aug. 1, Realtor Eric Brown, was showing a home on Sharon Avenue southwest, in Wyoming to his client Roy Thorne, and Thorne’s son – referred to as S.T. in the lawsuit – when police responded to a report of a home invasion. Police said they got a call from a neighbor who knew about a previous burglary that occurred at the same address a week earlier.
Police said officers handcuffed all three Black men and asked them to sit in the back of the police care. Officials said they removed the handcuffs from them Brown showed his real estate license.
The Wyoming Department of Public Safety denied that race played a part in the incident.
“While it is unfortunate that innocent individuals were placed in handcuffs, our officers responded reasonably and according to the department policy based on the information available to them at the time,” Wyoming Department of Public Safety Capt. Timothy Pols said.
Attorney Ven Johnson said this isn't true. He released the federal lawsuit which alleges unlawful detainment and excessive force, racial profiling, assault and battery, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
"It absolutely was implicit, racist, bias, absolutely. And the city of Wyoming needs to step up, admit it and they need to be evaluated to see what training that they’re giving their officers," Johnson said.
The defendants listed in the lawsuit are the city of Wyoming, Chief Kimberly Foster, Officer Logan Wieber, Officer Lee Atkinson, Officer Devin Quintard, Officer Arrow Kotarak, Officer Zachery Johnson and Sergeant Brian Look.