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Nearly $2M claim filed over alleged Mesa police use of force

November 16, 2018

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Lawyers for a black man shown on video being beaten by five Mesa police officers as he stood against a wall have filed a $1.97 million notice of claim against the city.

The claim filed Tuesday is a precursor to a lawsuit.

Mesa has 180 days to respond or settle the case. Otherwise it can proceed to court.

Attorneys for 35-year-old Robert Johnson say he continues to have physical pain from the May 23 incident.

“We are planning to seek justice for Mr. Johnson,” attorney Benjamin Taylor said.

The apartment complex video shows the police officers repeatedly punching the unarmed Johnson after he failed to follow their instructions to sit down.

A police report states that Johnson was verbally defiant and confrontational, but his attorneys say there was no reason for officers to hit him.

The FBI is assessing possible civil rights violations.

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