(TMU) — Police in Kansas City, Kansas, have been accused of breaking into a man’s home in the dead of the night and severely beating him to the point of hospitalization before charging him with battery of a law enforcement officer.
Joseph Harter, 43, filed a federal lawsuit last week claiming that the beating was so bad that he was temporarily blinded by his own blood and had to go to the hospital after his home was invaded by police officers on October 28, 2018, according to the Kansas City Star.
The lawsuit, which seeks compensation amounting to $13,000 in medical bills and lasting trauma, claims that Harter was the victim illegal entry, battery, false imprisonment, and excessive force.
The suit alleges that at 3 a.m., Harter woke up and realized that somebody was in his bedroom. After he sat up, Kansas City police officer Faisal Hassan started beating him severely in the head and body, causing him to temporarily go blind due to his own blood getting into his eyes.
Other police officers who were in the bedroom at the time failed to intervene, according to the suit.
Court documents show that Harter later faced charges for battery of a law enforcement officer in a Kansas City Municipal Court, but the charges we dropped in under two months “due to prosecutor discretion and pending investigation.”
William Dunn, an attorney for Harter, told the Star that it still remains unclear why Harter was targeted by police officers in his own home—especially because the victim didn’t have any interactions with Kansas City police officers prior to the incident.
Dunn told a reporter:
“I think what you’re wanting to understand, and certainly I want to understand too but I don’t, is what are the police doing in there.
That will hopefully come out as the case moves forward.”
The lawsuit specifically names as defendants Hassan, former chief of police Terry Zeigler, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, and other unknown officers. Zeigler is accused of failing to properly train and supervise his officers in a manner that would ensure the protection of Harter and other local citizens.
Dunn added that in addition to seeking compensation, Harter hopes that a similar event never happens to other residents of the city. Dunn said:
“Maybe, depending on how this all shakes out, maybe the unified government needs to take a look at their policies and procedures and who they’re hiring to carry them out.”
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