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The relationship between black people and police has always been a hostile one to say the very least, with countless instances of excessive force being used when it wasn’t at all necessary. Now, a lawsuit has been filed against the Columbus, Ohio police department with the hopes that it sends a very loud message.

It’ s no secret that when blacks are arrested they tend to find themselves increasingly beaten and abused while in police custody, well a civil rights complaint filed on behalf of Timothy Davis hopes to change the way local Columbus police operate. Davis, who was arrested earlier this month for assaulting a police officer, was actually revealed to be the victim after cellphone footage showed him being severely beaten by police officers. According to Newsweek this prompted the lawsuit, which cites recurring behavior of Columbus police.

Via Newsweek:

One officer has been removed from patrol duty [because of the Davis incident] after stating at the time: “I’m going to choke the life out of you,” the Associated Press reported. The lawsuit alleges other officers attempted to prevent the public from seeing what was happening by standing in their way.

Following the incident, a police spokesman, Sergeant Dean Worthington, told the AP that punching and kicking are allowed under police policy, and decisions on using force are dependent on a suspect’s behavior.

The federal lawsuit, which was filed on [September 16], comes almost 20 years after a similar complaint from the Justice Department in 1999 alleged officers routinely violated civilians’ rights by using excessive force and conducting illegal searches. The new lawsuit, seen by the AP, alleges: “The unconstitutional conduct of the City of Columbus Police Department towards civilians, particularly African-Americans, has not changed.”

If you recall, Columbus police were also under fire last year after the untimely deaths of young black men Tyre King, 13 and Henry Green, 23, who were both killed by white police officers that were later cleared of all charges against them.

 

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