Back at the end of November, a 61 year old Farmington woman filed suit in federal court against several members of the Farmington Police Department who she claims used excessive force when they kicked and struck her and then twisted both her arms causing serious shoulder injuries. You can read the original civil complaint pulled from PACER and stored on RECAP‘s repository on the Internet Archive for more background.
From the civil complaint:
29. Defendants Bellows, Hendrickson and Johnson intentionally caused Plaintiff Menoch emotional distress by falsely arresting, illegally imprisoning, kicking, twisting her arm to the point of harming her shoulder and abusing her.
30. Defendants intentionally caused emotional distress upon Plaintiff Menoch by visiting her home uninvited and abusing her and causing her injuries.
31. As a result of the aforesaid acts of the Defendants, Plaintiff Menoch suffered damages as aforesaid.
36. Because of said negligence of Defendants Lindquist Plaintiff Menoch has suffered and continues to suffer damages, including, but not limited to emotional distress, pain andsuffering. Menoch has also suffered pecuniary loss.
WHEREFORE Plaintiff Menoch requests this Court:
A. That Defendants be jointly and severally liable to Plaintiff Menoch for damages in excess of Seventy Five Thousand Dollars ($75,000.00) as allowed by appropriate laws and statutes;
According to a fairly recent Thisweek article about the lawsuit, the Farmington Police Department was, “dispatched to Menoch’s house to check on her welfare.” After they arrived they found Menoch, “screaming and uncooperative,” at which time they deemed it necessary to subdue her and subsequently handcuff her. It was during this time that officers said they, “grabbed her by the arm, utilizing arm bar control technique, spun her around and up against a counter top.” Two officers eventually brought her to the ground, restraining both arms, while she continued to resist their efforts to cuff her. An officer, “delivered three common peroneal knee strikes to the outside of her left thigh and she let go of her wrist, enabling me to cuff her other hand.” According to Wikipedia (and the Thisweek article), the peroneal knee strike causes numbness and pain sometimes lasting up to 5 minutes. In addition to the temporary pain delivered by the knee strike, Meonch claims her rotator cuff was torn as a result of the struggle and that she required surgery and physical therapy to repair the damage.
Do you think that a 61 year old woman who was having a welfare check done at her home deserved to be handled in the manner she was? Knowing her possible state of mind do you think the police should have delivered the physical force they did? Do you really believe a 61 year old female should need to be taken down to the ground with painful knee strikes? Do you think the City of Farmington will settle out of court to avoid the costly battle or do you think they were 100% in the right here and should fight it all the way through to a jury trial? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.