City of Paris

Civil Rights suit filed against city of Paris and three police officers

Edgar Co. (ECWd) –

Once again local police have found themselves in a Civil Rights lawsuit filed June 21, 2018, by Redwood Law Offices.

The suit names Jesse Lewsader, Richard Wilson, Rayan Washburn, and the city of Paris as Defendants.

According to the filing, this suit is a “civil action arising under the First and Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution and 42 U.S.C. ” 1983 and 1988, and the Common Law of Illinois.”. 

“By the actions described herein, Defendants Jesse Lewsader, Richard Wilson and Ryan Washburn willfully and wantonly committed the following wrongful acts against the Plaintiff, which are tortious under the laws of the State of Illinois.”

“a. Assault by breaking the door and entering plaintiff’s home in a threatening and frightening manner and threatening Plaintiff with Battery, thereby placing Plaintiff in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery;
b. Battery by attacking, handcuffing and searching Plaintiff to effect an arrest made in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, which was a harmful or offensive un-consented touching of Plaintiff’s person; 
c. Trespass by entering and remaining within Plaintiff’s home without a warrant and without consent, and after being told not to come in; 
d. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress by breaking into Plaintiff’s home with force, attacking Plaintiff’s person and using a Taser against Plaintiff, which was objectively extreme and outrageous and which was rooted in an abuse of power and authority and done with the deliberate intention of causing the Plaintiff severe emotional distress or in reckless disregard of the probability that this conduct would cause severe emotional distress, which did cause the Plaintiff severe emotional distress and which was undertaken with malice, willfulness and deliberate indifference to Plaintiff’s rights, such that the Defendants’ actions shock the conscience.”

The suit also alleges;

“the City of Paris Illinois failed to develop and implement adequate policies and procedures, which enabled Paris police officers, including Defendants Jesse Lewsader, Richard Wilson and Ryan Washburn, to engage in conduct that violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens, including plaintiff, without fear of reprimand, discipline or criminal prosecution, creating an atmosphere where such unconstitutional behavior is ratified, tolerated, acquiesced or condoned, in reckless disregard and deliberate indifference to the welfare of the public, including plaintiff, thereby proximately causing, in whole or in part, damage to his person, mental and emotional distress and monetary damages and depriving plaintiff of his rights under the First and Fourth Amendments to the United States Constitution in violation of 42 U.S.C. ‘1983.”

We will update as this case moves through the Federal Court Docket.

Federal civil rights law suit 2018

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Categories: City of Paris, Edgar County, feature

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6 replies »

  1. Oh bless your little hearts, Watchdogs, for taking on police misconduct on the blog. It is so important to clean up bad policing, or else decent potential police officers won’t even want to become police officers in the first place. Who wants to go to work with bullies or incompetents and expect them to have your back in a potentially dangerous situation? Good policing reforms are good for good cops (the union, the FOP, fights reasonabls attempts at reforms, however, which is part of the problem in getting some needed reforms, as some contract language makes it near impossible to hold officers accountable for misconduct).

    Read the books on the militarization of police by John W. Whitehead sometime. Scariest statistics anyone will ever read. “Battlefield America: The War on the American People” is seriously scary reading. Local cops are getting NSA data now through these super secretive fusion centers.

    It is no wonder so many local police abuse power when the DHS and Feds are sending all kinds of paranoia down to the local cops, labeling mere peaceful protesters as akin to threats to public safety. The DHS investigates police reform activists, when in reality, good reforms are actually good for good police in the first place!

    It’s not just government bureaucrats wasting and abusing taxpayer money. Bad cops also cost taxpayers money when settlements are paid out to end the lawsuits they get themselves into. So thank you to the Watchdogs for shining a light on this type of abuse. No one should fear cops except real crooks.

  2. PS – if, in fact, it was a traffic stop or an attempt to stop and he ran into a home, it’s common – and constitutionally OK – that officers chase those fleeing violators – in fresh pursuit – into their homes.
    Violators run and police run after them.

  3. I couldn’t open the document to read any further. Reading the initial complaint, it appears that the crux of the complaint is that the officers lacked probable cause, exigency, or consent to enter the dwelling. Has the case been to trial, or otherwise been adjudicated – or the state’s attorney declined to prosecute the defendant? If a criminal case was filed against Mr. Holt, as a result of the entry / search / seizure, has there been a suppression hearing re the evidence to determine if its seizure was found to be reasonable?

    The reason I ask is, it takes very little to file a civil rights suit. Anyone who believes they or any evidence was seized unreasonably or the officers’ entry was unreasonable – whether the plaintiff’s belief is reasonable or not – can file a 1983 . Every thing / element of the complaint would reasonably follow…in their and their attorney’s mind. On the other hand, I’m not saying Mr. Holt’s belief is unreasonable or his case is without merit – just questioning what, if any, criminal procedures and testimony have taken place re the Paris PD core case against Mr. Holt that might shine some light on the matter.
    ———————————————————————————————————————————-
    OK, I thought maybe I should look at Judici. 2017CM100 (Resisting A Peace Officer + Disorderly Conduct) and 2017TR667 (Driving While License Suspended), if commenced against the same Mr. Holt, appear to be the most recent criminal / traffic proceedings against him in Edgar County that are still not fully disposed of. One was filed on 06/27/17 and the other on 06/28/17. The Resisting was dismissed, but he plead guilty to Disorderly Conduct. The Suspended charge also resulted in a Guilty finding or plea. Are the two cases connected? Did he flee from a traffic stop and run into his home / a home – and they went in after him in fresh pursuit – or was there time elapsed from the incident so that it was not “fresh pursuit”?

    This will be interesting to follow.

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