|In federal lawsuit, man alleges Framingham police abuse in 2012 arrest||August 30, 2014|
|Norman Miller 508-626-3823||Metrowest Daily News|
A Roxbury man is suing the town of Framingham, the Board of Selectmen and numerous police officers in federal court, claiming the officers brutally beat him during a 2012 arrest because he is black.
Mark S. Tinsley, 42, claims officers used racial slurs while they punched and kicked him before hitting him with pepper spray, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court. The complaint was originally filed in Middlesex Superior Court, but was moved to federal court.
The complaint, written by Tinsley's lawyer, Robert Johnson Jr., alleges Officers Gregory Reardon, Robert Lewis, Jason Lurie, Joseph Godino, Dinis Avila and James Green, along with the town of Framingham and the Board of Selectmen, violated his civil rights, were negligent in their failure to provide medical care, intentionally inflicted emotional distress, assault, battery and false arrest and imprisonment.
In addition, the complaint alleges negligence against the town and selectmen.
1203619 21:30 ARREST: TINSLEY, MARK 250 WALNUT AV #8 ROXBURY, MA DOB:02/17/73 Arrested@ WAVERLEY ST / WILDE AV for ASSAULT/BAT-PUBLIC EMPLOYEE ASSAULT/BAT-PUBLIC EMPLOYEE DISORDERLY CONDUCT-PERSON ARREST-RESISTING M/V-SPEEDING WEAPONS-CARRY/POS/DW Officer: GODINO, REARDON, GREEN, BLUE, MCCARTHY
According to the complaint, Framingham Police pulled Tinsley over at the intersection of Waverly Street and Winthrop Street on May 27, 2012. Two men, who did not identify themselves as officers, came to his car and opened both of his doors and demanded his license and registration.
Tinsley did not get out of the car when ordered to do so because he "didn't feel comfortable" doing so, the report said. After telling them they were violating his rights, they began screaming at him.
"Mr. Tinsley started to seek help from the public by calling out: 'The police are trying to violate my rights,' " the complaint said. "Soon a fifth officer arrived. This officer reached into the car and punched Mr. Tinsley in the nose."
After being punched, the complaint said Tinsley was dragged from his car and thrown facedown to the ground.
"Several of the officers began beating him," the complaint said. "Mr. Tinsley could hear the fifth officer say, 'You f------ n-----.' The same officer kicked him in the head while he was on the ground. Another officer stomped on Mr. Tinsley's head while he was on the ground."
The complaint alleges that Tinsley sustained a broken nose and finger, and several cuts and bruises in the attack, but he was never offered medical care.
At his Framingham District Court arraignment on May 29, 2012, Tinsley pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and carrying a dangerous weapon.
Prosecutor Maggie Pastuszak said during the arraignment Tinsley appeared to be hiding something in the car. Despite the officers ordering him out of the car at least 80 times, Tinsley refused and officers dragged him from the car.
Pastuszak said Tinsley elbowed an officer in the chest and tried punching several of them. Officers needed to pepper spray him and when they searched him they found a spring-loaded pocketknife, the prosecutor said.
Tinsley was released on $250 bail after his arraignment. His case is scheduled to go to trial in Framingham District Court on Oct. 27.
Attorney Douglas Louisan, who represents the town, the selectmen and all of the officers, said all of the defendants deny each and every claim made by Tinsley.
"We anticipate we'll be aggressively defending this and defending this to a federal jury," Louisan said.
No date has been set in federal court.
Norman Miller can be reached at 508-626-3823 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For up-to-date crime news, follow Norman Miller on Twitter @Norman_MillerMW.
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