KNOXVILLE, TN. (WLAF)- Campbell County officials have asked that a $25 million lawsuit lodged against the county earlier this summer be dismissed.
The request came as Rhonda Bradshaw, the attorney hired by the county to defend the suit, filed an answer in federal court recently.
Nathan Ling filed the lawsuit alleging he had suffered excessive force at the hands of county police officers. Ling, a Michigan resident, said the events happened in June 2019.
He named Justin Crabtree, Dakota Williams, Sean Brown and Joshua Miller as the aggressors. Crabtree and Brown are no longer employed with the sheriff’s department; Williams is on leave and, with the exception of Miller, all are facing a criminal indictment stemming from the alleged assault.
In responding to Ling’s allegations, the county denied the bulk of the allegations including that Ling was left without medical care.
The night he was arrested, Ling and two others were found in a stolen car in LaFollette following a 911 call. As police investigated that call, they learned that Ling was wanted in his home state of Michigan on outstanding felony charges. Ling resisted arrest and became combative with paramedics and law enforcement, the court record said. Medical personnel had been called to the scene because Ling “fell and was injured” as he was resisting arrest, according to his filing.
The county’s response to that particular allegation was that Ling “ran into the back of a pick-up truck” that night.
After being cleared by paramedics, Ling was taken to the county jail.
In his filing, Ling made the accusation he was repeatedly assaulted by Crabtree.
“Crabtree did strike Mr. Ling in the face,” the county’s filing acquiesced. But as far as the other allegations that initially, Miller, Williams and Brown only watched the alleged assault but eventually participated, and then sprayed Ling “with some type of chemical agent” as he lay on the floor of the jail, the county denied this allegation in its response.
In fact, the county’s response refuted the abuse that Ling is claiming in hopes of a $25 million award.
Within his filing, Ling not only alleged that he was injured, he said he was left for hours with no medical care.
The county’s response rejected the idea that Ling was a victim of excessive force and countered that he “was provided with medical care” while he was in custody. Along with this, Bradshaw on the county’s behalf, demanded “strict proof” of the violence Ling said he endured that night.
The officers “acted in good faith within the mandates of both federal and state law,” Bradshaw wrote in the response. She further denied the allegation that anyone connected to Ling that night was indifferent to his medical needs and that excessive force was used on him. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED- 08/03/2020- 6AM)