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Man was 'viciously attacked' by two Euclid police officers, lawsuit alleges

Posted at 5:20 PM, Nov 30, 2017
and last updated 2019-09-10 14:26:09-04

The Euclid Police Department has come under scrutiny once again for an officer's behavior after a federal lawsuit was filed on Thursday claiming two officers assaulted a man during a traffic stop.

The lawsuit alleges officers Kyle Flagg and Vashon Williams approached Lamar Wright on Nov. 4, 2016 with guns drawn while he was using a cell phone and sitting in his car.

“I was bracing myself to get shot,” Wright said.

Wright, who had recently had stomach surgery and was using a colostomy bag at the time, initially thought he was being carjacked. The lawsuit claims Wright had pulled over into a driveway to call his girlfriend and was seated during the "vicious and unprovoked attack." 

Warning: The video below contains vulgar language.

“They were wrong. There’s people that are not here that can’t defend themselves like I can. I’m a voice and I’m going to speak up," said Wright.

The body camera video shows officers approaching the car and yelling at Wright to get out of the vehicle. One of the officers grabs the man's arm and Wright can be heard in the video saying the officer is hurting his him. Seconds later officers use a stun gun and pepper spray on the man. Wright then exits the car and lays face down on the ground.

The lawsuit claims the two officers filed false police reports and charged Wright resisting arrest and other offenses.

The charges against Wright were eventually dismissed.

“They immediately got out of that car ready to attack and this is significant because this is exactly what we saw in Luke Stewart’s case, very similar tactics," said Wright's attorney, Sarah Gelsomino.

In August, another Euclid officer — Michael Amiott — drew attention when he was filmed punching 25-year-old Robert Hubbard in the head multiple times during a traffic stop.

Amiott was first suspended and then later fired.

In the aftermath of that incident, Euclid Mayor Kirsten Gail said: 

"As Mayor and Public Safety Director, it is my responsibility to ensure that the Euclid Police Department serves the public professionally, courteously, and conscientiously.  The fine men and women of the Euclid Police Department constantly strive to maintain the highest level of professionalism and service to the public.  I have, and will continue to take the necessary steps to support these efforts on behalf of the residents, business owners, and visitors of the city of Euclid."

According to Wright's team of attorney's, misconduct in the Euclid Police Department has been repeatedly exposed in the media and caught on camera.

"There is no justification for this level of force and violence against an unarmed, compliant civilian. And on top of the unjustified, unprovoked attacks, EPD officers have also filed false criminal charges against these individuals in an effort to cover up their own misconduct,” said attorney Jacqueline Greene.

Euclid declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Related: Protesters demand justice in Euclid police-involved incidents.

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