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Lawsuit filed against city of Lansing, LPD for excessive force and wrongful arrest

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A Lansing man has filed a lawsuit against the city of Lansing and five police officers. The man claims officers used excessive force during a wrongful arrest in 2020.

The complaint was filed Monday, Oct. 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. The filing claims five Lansing police officers violated the rights of Gleen Wayne Stewart during his May 15 arrest in 2020.

Anthony VandeVoode, Joseph Bacigal, Brandon Russell, Alina Harrington, and Jason Murdock, and the City of Lansing are all listed as defendants.

According to court documents, a neighbor called officers to Stewart’s residence under false pretenses, alleging Stewart was being loud and making threats.

Stewart was then accused of assaulting his sister who according to the filing was standing next to Stewart.

When Stewart moved inside his residence, an officer broke down his door. Stewart was grabbed and forced to the ground by officers. He was then repeatedly struck by officers while his limbs and torso were held down. He received blows to his neck and ribs.

The filing also states Stewart’s breathing was restricted by one or more officers who choked him. It also noted that his nose was bleeding and blood soaked through the mask he was wearing to protect against COVID-19.

Following his arrest, Stewart was taken to the emergency room after complaining of injury. There, officers allegedly signed off on allowing medical staff to administer a chemical restraint to Stewart without his consent.

The filing states Stewart had difficulty breathing and was placed on a respirator for a short period of time.

Stewart had a contusion on his hand, multiple abrasions and blood work showed elevated levels of a protein associated with pulmonary embolism.

According to the court filing, charges against Stewart were later dismissed at a preliminary examination where defendants were unable to establish probable cause for the charges.

Stewart is seeking at least $150,000 from each defendant for six counts in the lawsuit, and at least $100,000 from the City of Lansing for failing to train and supervise officers.

The Lansing Police Department was unable to comment on the pending lawsuit.

Melorie Begay is WKAR-FM's weekend host and a general assignment reporter.
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