Baird and Zulakis P.C., Attorneys at Law
Call for a Free Phone Consultation
Local 517-481-2680
Toll Free 800-385-0092
Main Menu
Practice Areas

Suit: East Lansing police abused men, made false arrest

Police officers in East Lansing are entrusted with an enormous amount of power. They are empowered to make arrests of those suspected of a crime, and to use violence against suspects in certain situations -- including, sometimes, deadly force. To prevent the police from abusing their power, state and federal laws attempt to restrain them by requiring them to follow certain procedures.

For example, an East Lansing police officer must have a reasonable, articulable suspicion that a person is committing or has committed a crime before the officer can detain the person. When the police use their badges to bully the public and arrest someone on trumped-up criminal charges, that is a violation of the trust the public places in the police department to use its powers responsibly and within the law.

In a new lawsuit against the city of East Lansing, a Michigan State University student says that two officers forced him and a friend to try to lure some people out of their house, made them spread broken glass under the tires of a car, and then falsely arrested him for public urination. The man says he filed suit because the East Lansing Police Department has shown little interest in investigating and disciplining the officers.

According to the suit, the plaintiff went to the house to pick up a friend of his who was under the weather. When he arrived, two police officers were there. One of the officers told the plaintiff and his friend that they wanted to evict the house’s residents. They threatened to arrest both men for “prowling and trespassing” if they could not lure one of the residents outside.

Frightened, the men knocked on the doors, but nobody came outside. The officers forced the men to sweep up broken glass in the street, and spread it behind the tires of at least one vehicle parked in a lot behind the house.

The men were finally allowed to leave, but they returned because the friend believed he had dropped some money. When they got back to the house, the police arrested the plaintiff for public urination. He was later found not guilty of that charge.

It was more than a year before the police department investigated the incident. The plaintiff said his suit is about combating abuse of police power.

Source: Lansing State Journal, “MSU student files lawsuit against ‘malicious’ East Lansing police officers,” Kevin Grasha, March 3, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Listed In Best Lawyers - The world's Premier Guide Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb Top Attorney Criminal Defense Recommended by peers for leading lawyers network - the top lawyers This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

Office Location

Baird and Zulakis P.C., Attorneys at Law
Eastbrook Plaza
4127 Okemos Road
Suite 4
Okemos, MI 48864

Fax: 517-349-5013
Map & Directions