Lawyer, 72, sues after court officers slammed him to floor
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia lawyer is suing a group of court officers for allegedly fracturing his shoulder and slamming him on the floor during what he says was a wrongful arrest.
Clifford Haines filed suit Monday and his attorneys posted a video of the August arrest that shows five sheriff’s deputies swarm the 72-year-old after what appears to be an argument near the Philadelphia courthouse’s metal detectors.
His lawyers say the arrest was unprovoked and excessive.
“There is no reason to treat people like that, as if they’re the enemy,” said Haines’ attorney Patricia V. Pierce.
The sheriff’s office did not immediately return a voicemail seeking comment.
Haines approached the deputy because the officer was previously “rude” to him, according to the lawsuit. The confrontation quickly escalated.
The video shows officers rush Haines from all sides, with one deputy putting him in a headlock from behind and others pushing him onto the metal detector’s belt before Haines is thrown to the floor.
Haines also sued a sergeant who he said refused to switch his handcuffs from his back to the front of his body to ease the pain of his dislocated and fractured shoulder, according to the lawsuit.
“It’s just completely unnecessary,” Pierce said.
Haines is a former Philadelphia prosecutor and has served as president of the state’s bar association. He was not criminally charged in the incident.