Two former Lakeville residents say police drew weapons and forced them to the ground after they called to report a rental property caretaker who entered their home and struck a guest one afternoon in 2013.
Brian Curtis and KaJuana Jones Curtis filed a lawsuit in federal court in Minneapolis this week against 11 Lakeville police officers and the City of Lakeville. The Curtises are seeking monetary damages, alleging two claims of common law battery, one claim of common law false imprisonment and violations of their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
Lakeville Police Chief Jeff Long said Friday that the department had not yet been served with the lawsuit and was unable to comment. According to the suit filed Thursday, Brian Curtis called Lakeville Police on March 30, 2013, when Calvin Manyfield, a caretaker at the Curtises’ townhouse complex, forced his way into their home and struck a guest. Michael Milo, an attorney representing the Curtises, said Friday that Brian Curtis told police Manyfield was armed with a knife.
According to the complaint, seven or eight squad cars responded to the scene. One officer ordered Jones Curtis, then 13 weeks pregnant, to the ground and forced her down when she said, “I can’t!” The Curtises say the same officer pointed a Taser at her.
Officers also drew their weapons on Brian Curtis and the Curtises’ children at the scene, the document said. Brian Curtis was handcuffed, placed facedown on the floor and an officer stomped on his back, according to the complaint. At one point, police placed Brian Curtis and two guests in separate squad cars, but neither the Curtises nor any of their guests were arrested.
The lawsuit says one guest required medical treatment at Apple Valley Urgent Care for injuries caused by Manyfield.
Milo said it wasn’t until after the Curtises reported the officers’ conduct to the Minnesota Board of Peace Officer Standards and Training that charges were filed against Manyfield — six months later. Manyfield, who had a 0.24 percent blood alcohol content at the time of the incident, pleaded guilty in October 2014 to one count of third-degree assault and one count of fifth-degree assault.
The Curtises say the city and police department have refused a request for public records related to the incident.