Suit Yourself Who's Suing the D.C. Government This Week?

Plaintiff: Shane Lucas

Defendants: D.C. police officers Carlton B. Wicker Sr., Jeffrey Clay, Timothy Ford, and unnamed others; Chief Cathy Lanier; former Chief “Patrick” Ramsey; Mayor Adrian Fenty; D.C. government

Damages Sought: $5 million, plus interest and court costs

Complaint: Lucas was leaving an unspecified nightclub in the 1200 block of Connecticut Avenue NW when three officers got in his face. To be more precise, their fists got in his face. Though Lucas says he did not provoke them or put up a fight, he alleges that Ford, Clay, and Wicker beat him until he needed medical attention. Then they arrested him for assault. Prosecutors declined to pursue the case; the charge was dismissed.

Quality of Representation: Poor. The complaint by attorneys John C. Floyd III and Roosevelt F. Brown III is riddled with typos, mangled sentences, and factual errors. We can only hope Patrick Ramsey proved to be more adept as D.C. police chief than he was as a Redskins quarterback.

Summary Judgment: We’ve heard this one before. It’s late-night at the club, a guy has a few drinks, he says the wrong thing, and the cops are all over him. And now he wants $5 million. Sure, it’s curious that the assault charge was dismissed, but that doesn’t prove Lucas was in the right. And it also doesn’t help that his lawyers can’t check their goddamn facts. Take this sentence: “Plaintiff was arrested…on April 20, 2005, he was subsequently released on April 22, 2006.” Wishful thinking: If he’d actually been kept in jail for a year on a thin assault rap, then he might have a lawsuit. Case dismissed.

DOWNLOAD: Shane Lucas' court complaint (PDF)

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