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$25,000 Jury Award in Federal Civil Rights Case

by Christopher Zoukis

A federal civil rights action alleging excessive force during arrest has resulted in a $25,000 jury verdict. The April 5, 2007 verdict provided $5,000 in compensatory damages and $20,000 in punitive damages against several officers.

Craig Boesing, 33, was arrested by Missouri police officer Joe Spiess. Boesing alleged that Spiess used mace and excessive force during the arrest, apparently causing him to fall off of an embankment. He sustained soft tissue injuries during the arrest and alleged to suffer continuing pain and emotional trauma.

From the Algoa Correctional Facility in Jefferson City, Missouri, Boesing filed a federal lawsuit against Spiess, Francis G. Slay, Chris Goodson, Jo Ann Freeman Morrow and Julius K. Hunter. He claimed violation of his civil rights during the arrest. The defendants alleged that Boesing injured himself by somersaulting down a fifty-foot embankment while they were trying to arrest him for unspecified reasons.

A jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri found for Boesing, awarding a total of $25,000.

Source: Boesing v. Slay, et al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Case No. 4:04-cv-01268 (April 5, 2007)

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