Man Falsely Arrested After Police Claim He Stole His Own Vehicle: Lawsuit

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An Ohio man is suing several Kentucky police officers who he claims falsely arrested him on suspicion that he stole his own car.

According to the Atlanta Black Star, Henry Lee Sanders lll filed a lawsuit against officers from the Florence Police Department, alleging that they used excessive force and brutality during a false arrest.

The lawsuit stems from a traffic stop on November 11, 2022. According to the suit, Officer James Wilbers stopped Sanders, believing that his own car was a stolen one.

Sanders had reported a stolen vehicle more than three years before his arrest, saying his 1996 blue Ford Crown Victoria was taken outside of his Cincinnati home. The following day, police found the car with a missing front license plate in Newport, Kentucky.

During the 2022 traffic stop, the lawsuit states that officers went through a database and saw that the stolen vehicle was recovered. However, Sanders was arrested for second-degree disorderly conduct and driving with a stolen license plate.

The lawsuit further alleges that Wilbers pulled out his gun, yelling “loudly,” and handcuffed Sanders “on the side of the road” during the arrest. Three other officers, identified as Kelli Chapman, D.J. Hutcherson, and Patrick Taylor, were also at the scene where Sanders was detained.

Sanders was taken to a local jail and his Ford Crown Victoria was towed. The charges against Sanders were later dismissed, but his lawyers argue that he was wrongly prosecuted and his civil rights were violated.

Sanders never got his vehicle back because he was unable to afford the impound fees to recover it.

“The case, which we are pushing to be tried by a jury, is a stark reminder of the importance of accountability in law enforcement. We stand firm in our belief that the officers and the police department must be held responsible for their actions,” attorneys said in a statement.

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