Claim of excessive force will go to trial
The Sixth Circuit upheld a trial judge's decision that two Clare-area policemen should go to trial on claims that they used excessive force during an arrest. The case is Grawey v. Drury, Davis and Saad. The alleged victim, a Detroiter, was in Clare to attend a family graduation celebration.Grawey drove with his sister, a niece and a friend to a local bowling alley afterward. He was sucker-punched by another patron and then both men were ejected from the bar. In the parking lot, Saad discharged his pepper spray on Grawey when he became agitated and started to walk away from the officer. The second officer confirmed that Grawey was sprayed a second time while not evading or resisting arrest.
According to Grawey's companions, Saad then made disparaging comments including calling Grawey a "faggot" before Grawey lost consciousness. According to Grawey's family, officers then caused him injury by manipulating Grawey's extremities while he was unconscious and restrained.
The Court affirmed the trial court's conclusion that Saad and his companions did not enjoy qualified immunity for the actions alleged by Grawey and other witnesses. If proven, these actions would constitute both assault and battery under Michigan law and the use of excessive force under the Federal Constitution. Since there was evidence to support the claim that Grawey was never placed under arrest, never resisted arrest or acted in a manner that would have justified infliction of the injuries he suffered, if this evidence is believed by the jury Saad's actions and those of his companions were not reasonable and were not protected by law.