Cynical Henry Saad opinon summarily dismisses Pontiac student's claims based on disputed police testimony
Terri Parker, as Next Friend of Maurece Peters, Jr., sued the City of Pontiac and two police officers, arguing that they violated Peters' civil rights. The officers had broken the 14-year old, 5' 1", 110 pound Peters' collarbone, apparently in response to some undocumented form of verbal protest as he was being accompanied by a teacher to the school office. The trial judge had denied summary disposition to the defendants, holding that there were substantial, material factual disputes which must be resolved by a jury.
The Court of Appeals simply glossed over the factual disagreements in the record and reversed the lower court, dismissing the case. This opinion is typical of many that bear the signature of Judge Henry Saad. Even though the officers testified that they handcuff all students who "clench a fist," the Court held that handcuffing students who clench a fist is not a "custom or usage" that would render the municipal authority responsible for a violation of law.
Even though the district requires that officers use only the minimum force necessary to effect arrests or detentions, the Court held that shoving Peters into the wall three times--hard enough to break his collar bone--was not even arguably excessive force, even though Peters' only demonstrable "defiance" was not apparent on a security video and must have been verbal.