Local News

Three Raleigh police officers named in lawsuit

Posted February 24, 2010

A man with cerebral palsy who claims he was repeatedly kicked and assaulted outside a downtown bar is suing the Raleigh Police Department and several police officers.

Charles Payne, 34, says in the complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court that an off-duty police officer and bouncer at The Pourch/The Bassment thought he was drunk and threw him to the ground and started kicking him when he tried to explain his disability.

Raleigh police officers being sued Raleigh police officers being sued

According to the complaint, the officer was trying to place handcuffs on Payne but was unable to cuff one of his arms because of his limited mobility.

At some point, two other police officers who were on duty joined in the alleged assault, the complaint says, and those officers later threw Payne into a police car and tied his legs together with rope.

At one point, the complaint says, Payne heard one of the officers say, "We have to get our stories straight because he is a drunk autistic kid."

"Anybody with any sense at all could tell that he suffers from a debilitating disease," Payne's attorney, Woody Webb, said Wednesday.

Payne says he had been at the bar on the night of Aug. 8, 2008, looking for a friend but had not been drinking.

"He hadn't had anything to drink whatsoever," Webb said. "Later blood-alcohol tests confirmed that he had no alcohol in his system whatsover."

Payne was arrested and charged with second-degree trespassing and resisting arrest. The charges were later dismissed.

Webb said an internal affairs investigation is under way within the police department but that his client has waited long enough for relief.

"It had severe consequences for him, both physically and emotionally."

The city of Raleigh and the bar are also named in the lawsuit. None of the parties had any comment Wednesday.

Two of the officers are listed in the complaint as John Doe.

The third officer, Peter T. Morrison, 36, has been with the police department since January 2000 and is a senior officer with the Special Operations Division, police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

78 Comments

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  • sunneyone Mar 1, 2010

    Refusing to leave doesn't mean three cops get to beat you.

  • dono422 Feb 25, 2010

    Note to all, when a business owner or employee demands you leave and you refuse they are then required to call the police and have you removed. When the police arrive the owner/employee asks in the presence of the officer for the person to leave. When they refuse the officer explains if they refuse to leave they will be arrested for Trespassing. So he should have left. Off duty cops hate arresting people because that means they have to go down to the jail which is normally a 3 hour wait...lets see if this goes anywhere before we pass judgment either way.

  • gandalla Feb 24, 2010

    I wonder what the RPD's internal investigation turned up on this case if they even did one.

  • ncgoofygirl Feb 24, 2010

    Wow, 2 John Does in one small town? It's not right to include one Officers name and not the others.

  • thepeopleschamp Feb 24, 2010

    "I just want to know what the kid did to get arrested. Something had to be done." didisaythat

    According to his own law suit it appears he was asked to leave the business by an employee of the business and he refused. I'm guessing, because I do not have all the facts, at that point he was trespassing and the officers came in. The point being in his own lawsuit it states he did not leave when requested to do so.

  • You are Funny Feb 24, 2010

    It's nice to see the antipolice show up as usual. Lets don't wait for actual facts to show up in this incident lets just take the word of a guy who waited almost two years to file a suit against the officers. Nice guys, nice...a blood test that was taken several hours after the incident took place showed no alcohol in his system "shocker!!!" Not to mention we all know there is no other substance in the world that impaires. Oh yeah, and there is no reason someone else would fail to just be a jerk and cause a problem at a bar....I guess no one saw what the old coworker wrote about this fine citizen huh. Their opinion doesn't matter I guess. I'm still happy to have all you cop haters out here for some laughs!!! If you guys actually had to wait for all the facts to come out then you would have to find a different group to bash I guess...

  • didisaythat Feb 24, 2010

    I just want to know what the kid did to get arrested. Something had to be done. An officer just doesn't throw a guy to the ground without some type of provocation. Not saying the officers were not in the wrong, but there had to be some other action to do this and not just because he has a disability.

  • working for deadbeats Feb 24, 2010

    " If On-duty LEO's then what are they doing "bouncing at a a club" on my tax dollars?""

    They were checking in with the off duty officer who was working there, genius.

  • Common Sense Man Feb 24, 2010

    " If On-duty LEO's then what are they doing "bouncing at a a club" on my tax dollars?"

    They wouldn't be working at a club on your tax dollars. Keep trying............

  • Common Sense Man Feb 24, 2010

    "It is possible Southernlady that the "suspect" was unable to file the lawsuit until the pending charges against him were settled. Once they have been settled he would be allowed to file his suit. But Hey, since you know so much about LE and LEO's I figured I woyuld not need to tell you that!"

    It took a year and a half to adjudicate misdemeanor charges?

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