Representative-elect Franks files civil rights lawsuit against l - KMOV.com

Representative-elect Franks files civil rights lawsuit against local police

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Bruce Franks Jr. (Credit: BruceFranksJr.com) Bruce Franks Jr. (Credit: BruceFranksJr.com)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Missouri State Representative-elect Bruce Franks Jr. has filed a civil rights lawsuit against local police departments.

The lawsuit alleges officers from Berkeley and St. Louis County used excessive force on Franks as he was “acting as a Peacemaker” at the Dec. 24, 2014 protest after Antonio Martin was fatally shot by an officer.

The complaint, which was filed on behalf of Franks by ArchCity defenders, claims Franks suffered severe pain and physical injuries, including a torn rotator cuff and a concussion, after being “brutally beat, kicked and pepper sprayed” by the officers. Franks attorneys say the incident was caught on video.

"I was terrified to be in that situation," Franks told News 4. 
 
It is hard to make out exactly what is going on in the video, but Franks attorneys say it shows his arrest from that night. 
 
 Franks says it has been hard to forget what he says happened.

"I've used it to push forward on police community relationships. I used it to push forward on a relative solution and changing the narrative," he says. 

Both Berkeley and St. Louis County Police did not comment on the lawsuit.

“Mr. Franks’ case sheds light on the dangers of police power,” said Thomas Harvey, Executive Director and Co-Founder of ArchCity Defenders. “This suit challenges the tactics police use after a person has been restrained. A lawful arrest does not include kicking and beating a person in handcuffs.”

Franks was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting or interfering with an arrest. The charges were eventually dropped.

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