$400,000 Lawsuit Filed Against City, 2 Police Officers

A man who said he was accosted by a police officer while trying to take pictures of damage to his home from a wreck has sued the city and Officers Brian Blumenberg and Casey Cleveland for $400,000 in Federal Court.

Thomas Gregory Luther said he was advised last Dec. 4 that a vehicle had run into his home. He said he arrived to find crime tape around his property. He said he was allowed to go to his house after explaining he lived there.

He said he was taking pictures of the damage from his porch when Officer Blumenberg began yelling at him not to take pictures, then pulled him off the porch and to the ground, then handcuffed him. He said he was injured and his camera was damaged in the incident.

The complaint says Officer Bluemenberg was assisted by Officer Cleveland during the incident.

The suit, filed by attorney Robin Flores, says after Sgt. Toby Hewitt arrived it was decided not to arrest Mr. Luther.

It says Sgt. Hewitt told Internal Affairs investigators that Officer Blumenberg was overwhelmed working his first fatal traffic accident and exhausted from working a 24-hour shift.

The suit says the Internal Affairs investigators sustained a finding of improper procedure against Officer Blumenberg, but not use of excessive force.

The complaint asks $100,000 compensatory damages and $300,000 punitive damages.

Here is the full lawsuit: http://www.chattanoogan.com/2012/10/19/236753/400000-Lawsuit-Filed-Against-City.aspx

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