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Lawsuit alleges police brutality, use of racial slur

Posted: Tuesday, Jan 15th, 2013

A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court last Thursday on behalf of a Cottage Grove resident accuses members of the Cottage Grove Police Department of excessive force, false imprisonment, battery and other rights violations.

Representatives of Matthew Susumu Waggoner filed suit alleging that officers beat Waggoner and that one officer used a racial slur during Waggoner’s subsequent time in the Cottage Grove Jail following an incident that occurred on Dec. 15, 2011.

The suit requests a jury trial and names the City of Cottage Grove and officers Tami Howell, Jarrod Butler, Doug Skaggs, David Burgin, Police Chief Mike Grover and two unnamed officers as defendants.

The lawsuit’s introduction describes its purpose as a “civil action for damages stemming from the unlawful arrest of Plaintiff without warrant, reasonable suspicion, probable cause, or exigent circumstances, and the excessive use of force in arresting and lodging Plaintiff Matthew Susumu Waggoner in jail based in part on Plaintiff’s Japanese ancestry.”

The suit states that on Dec. 15, 2011 at about 4:10 p.m., officers Howell, Burgin and Butler responded to a possible burglary in progress at a home on Adams Street in Cottage Grove. There, they spotted Waggoner walking away from them toward 10th Street. The suit states that it was already dark outside at that time and the plaintiff had been visiting a friend.

For the complete article see the 01-16-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-16-2013 paper.

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