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Black Lives Matter protester seeks additional damages against Detroit police

Detroit — An additional lawsuit has been filed this week by a protester who claims he was injured by Detroit police while peacefully demonstrating with the Black Lives Matter movement during summer 2020.

Timothy Hall from Detroit initially filed the lawsuit four months ago in federal court but amended it this week to add a First Amendment violation along with a host of other claims against three Detroit police officers. 

Hall is also one of nearly 20 defendants listed in separate lawsuits filed alongside Detroit Will Breathe, which has alleged Detroit officers used excessive force during the 2020 protests against the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. 

The Detroit City Council, in its last session before recessing through September, unanimously approved a package totaling $1,265,000 to settle the lawsuits. Hall is slated to receive $10,000, should he accept.

However, it would not drop this additional lawsuit Hall has filed independently seeking at least  $75,000 for his injuries, his attorney Christopher Collis said. 

"They acted erroneously," said Collis, whose firm is based in Southfield. "This is the claim against the officers. My client suffered injuries including a fractured hand, wrist, and we have video clearly showing him being grabbed from behind in a takedown while he was standing on a sidewalk, watching, not even really participating."

Hall claims officers Blake Navarre, Co'Vosiee Cowan and Timothy Barr acted in unreasonable and excessive force by tear-gassing protesters, pepper spraying, blasting deafening and disorienting sounds, beating and shooting at the protesters with rubber bullets and putting the protesters in chokeholds. 

Hall said he was on the sidewalk of Woodward Avenue participating in the protest and voiced his concerns regarding the police officers' conduct as they approached in riot gear.

"Suddenly, without any warning, Defendant Navarre charged Plaintiff from behind, tackled Plaintiff onto the pavement, and dragged Plaintiff down Woodward Avenue," the lawsuit states. 

He then had his wrists zip-tied behind his back and a volunteer medic tended to the blood streaming down his face, according to the suit. Hall was then taken to the Detroit Detention Center, where he was booked and held pending his release on bond. 

The Detroit Police Department declined to comment on the pending litigation.

"They're not planning on indemnifying their own officers," said Collis, adding it's unclear when the case is expected to return to court.

Twitter: @SarahRahal_