Cops Beat Small Business Owners and Steal $20,000 From Them: Lawsuit
The stunned couple looked on as five Kernersville cops ripped off their savings and physically abused them.
They arrested Martinez-Perez but not before taking $4000 from him, which were an advance payment for renovation job he was working on.
They kicked him several times in the ribs and face and placed their knees on his back while handcuffing him.
As if this was not enough, they threatened Blackburn.
The officers told her that if she did not hand over her car keys she would end up behind bars.
They searched the vehicle for drugs and weapons, but found nothing.
In the process they damaged her car quite severely.
Then they confiscated an additional $ 16,000 from her.
This money was investment capital for an automobile sales business she intended to start shortly.
The cops claimed they “found cocaine” on one of the bills they had taken from the man.
Following a legal course proved fruitful for the couple and the money was recovered.
Not only this, the charges against Martinez-Perez were dropped.
This means he should have never been arrested in the first place.
The two have filed a lawsuit against the officers and the town of Kernersville.
The cops named in the court case are – J.L. Redden, E.G. Shumate, K.L. Cullison, M.W. Long and R.L. Joyner.
The Police Chief Scott Cunningham says his officers were justified and none of what happened that day was illegal.
“We look forward to proving the appropriateness of our actions,” he commented.
Representing Blackburn and Martinez-Perez is Clarke Dummit, a Winston-Salem attorney.
According to him the couple fell prey to something called an Equitable Sharing program.
Appallingly, it is a way that police can take assets from civilians without any criminal charges.
“While most police officers are great, ‘Equitable Sharing’ incentivizes officers to breach people’s rights so local law enforcement agencies can profit; it is just bad law and bad policy,” he added.
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