A man who was shocked with a Taser at a Gastonia department store is suing the officer involved in what he claims was a racially motivated incident.
According to The Gaston Gazette, 22-year-old Christopher Martin filed the lawsuit against Officer Arthur B. Johns and two loss prevention officers, Amanda Crosby and Jamie Carpenter, employed at the Belk department store where the incident took place. Also named in the lawsuit are the Matthews Belk Co. and the city of Gastonia.
Last summer, Martin had been shopping at the department store with a cousin and two of their friends when mall security accused the cousin of shoplifting. Martin tried to leave the store. However, he was shot with a Taser near the store entrance and fell on his face, causing a cut to his head that required stitches.
Martin was arrested, and charges filed against him at the time of the incident included resisting a public officer and damage to personal property. The damage, reports The Gaston Gazette, was reportedly getting blood on Officer Johns’ boots.
The charges against Martin were dropped. Johns, who had been suspended twice prior to the incident, was fired.
Martin, who is black, claims that the three white defendants in the lawsuit were motivated by race. The suit alleges multiple offenses against the officers, the store, and the city of Gastonia, including defamation and slander, false imprisonment, assault and battery, conspiracy, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, and negligent hiring and training.
Belk is denying responsibility, and the attorney for the city told The Gaston Gazette that they have not yet had time to formulate an official response.
The Raleigh personal injury attorneys at Kelly & West are experienced with handling cases that involve various types of personal injury and negligence. If you or a loved one are considering a personal injury lawsuit, contact us to discuss the details of your case today.
Please NOTE: Kelly & West Attorneys, P.A. is not representing any parties involved in this case.
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