The police officers who ordered their police canine to attack a Black man in Sheffield, Alabama, in 2021 are being sued, according to a lawsuit obtained by Atlanta Black Star.
Marvin Eugene Long, a 53-year-old Black man and disabled veteran, has filed a lawsuit against deputies from the Colbert County Sheriff’s Office and officers from the Sheffield Police Department in Sheffield, Alabama. The lawsuit stems from an incident on June 17, 2021.
“It’s sickening,” said a statement from attorney Harry Daniels of the attack on Long. “We expect to see this kind of brutality on old news reels or hear stories about it from our parents or grandparents. But here it is, in 2023. Apparently not much has changed in Alabama in 60 years.”
On that day, several officers attempted to arrest Long as he tried to enter his own home. The officers lacked reasonable suspicion or probable cause for the arrest, his attorneys say.
According to the lawsuit, Long was on his property throughout the incident. Despite not committing any crime and merely observing another arrest nearby, the officers wanted to arrest him.
When Long reached his front porch and asked the officers to leave, they violently knocked him to the ground, handcuffed him, and ordered a police dog to attack him. Long was eventually arrested and charged with obstruction and resisting arrest, although the obstruction charge was later dismissed.
The lawsuit accuses the officers of violating Long’s civil rights, using excessive force, and failing to protect him from harm. It also alleges that the officers falsified circumstances to charge Long with a crime. He’s seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the physical injuries, emotional distress, and loss of rights.
The lawsuit further reveals that one of the officers, Max Datson, faced previous legal trouble for threatening and assaulting a man while off-duty. The other, Nick Risner, was shot dead in the line of duty in October 2021.