WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - A Lawrence County man has alleged in federal court that he was unlawfully arrested, assaulted and harassed by Walnut Ridge police and that police have not investigated complaints of police brutality and misconduct.
According to an eleven-page suit filed April 5 in federal court at Jonesboro by attorney Mark Rees on behalf of Adam Finley, Finley of Smithville is asking for punitive damages as well as a jury trial in the case.
The suit names Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp, Police Chief Chris Kirksey, and Officers Matthew Mercado and Matt Cook, both individually and in their official capacity.
"This is an action for damages sustained by a citizen of the United States against police officers of the Walnut Ridge Police Department who unlawfully arrested, assaulted and harassed Plaintiff, against the Chief of Police as a supervisory officer responsible for the conduct of the 'City' Defendants, and for the failure of each of them to take corrective action with respect to police personnel, as well as their failure to investigate complaints of police brutality and misconduct and/or impose discipline, and to ensure proper training and supervision of personnel, and/or to implement meaningful procedures to discourage lawless official misconduct, and against the city of Walnut Ridge, which is the employer of the 'City Officers,' all of which are sued as persons under 42 U.S.C. 1983," Rees said in the court filing.
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Price Marshall.
The Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce's office released the following statement Thursday:
On Wednesday, April 18, Mayor Snapp responded to the lawsuit:
The court filing can be seen here: