A federal jury found that police violated a young man’s civil rights. What jurors awarded the victim will astound you.
one night from his past that continues to haunt him.
It’s the night four years ago when three police officers entered his family’s home without a warrant. They rousted him from the bed where he slept. They punched him six times: three times in the face and three times to the body. They used a Taser on him. Then they loaded him into a squad car in view of the neighbors.
All because of a case of mistaken identity. All because he wore dreadlocks.
Even South Bend’s mayor and police department acknowledge that the officers that July night in 2012 used excessive force and violated the civil rights of Franklin and his parents by entering the house without permission. A federal jury in Fort Wayne agreed this month, determining that the officers were liable for unlawful entry and unlawful seizure.
But then another maddening thing happened: The jury decided that those violations of the Fourth Amendment were worth only $1. Yes, $1.