Chandler pays brutality claim, wins arrest suit - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Chandler pays brutality claim, wins arrest suit

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Posted: Saturday, July 5, 2008 6:29 pm | Updated: 10:00 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Chandler settled a police brutality case and won a judgment in a lawsuit in federal court in June. The city agreed to pay $7,500 to Stephen Madrid, 32, who accused a Chandler police officer of beating him with a flashlight while he was handcuffed on Nov. 15, 2005.

"One of the reasons we settled was he needed to get on with his life," said G. David DeLozier, Madrid's attorney. Madrid complained of lingering medical problems sustained from the alleged beating, which would have been difficult to prove at trial, DeLozier said. A trial would have cost Chandler and his client much more than $7,500, DeLozier said.

According to court documents, officer Mark Olivier went downtown in response to a 911 call made by Madrid. Police had responded to two calls in previous hours involving Madrid, but the victims in those calls refused to press charges. Olivier then arrested Madrid for a false 911 call.

Madrid was agitated, talking gibberish and uncooperative, court records say. Madrid kicked Olivier in the face, bruising and cutting his face, and in the ensuing struggle "both parties received further injury," the document states. Madrid was charged with aggravated assault and was acquitted at trial in May 2007.

In the other incident, U.S. District Judge John W. Sedwick granted judgment on June 26 in favor of the city and a police officer in a case in which a Chandler man accused police of violating his constitutional rights by ticketing him for parking on an unimproved surface, a misdemeanor violation of the city code.

Michael Sembach also sued a city judge for issuing an arrest warrant after he failed to show in court and the police officer who arrested him. Sembach argued that the officer had to possess the warrant when the arrest occurred.

Sedwick wrote that there were no constitutional violations. Sedwick refused to grant the city attorney fees, however, saying that "although a lawyer can easily see the lack of foundation," Sembach represented himself.

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