Texas police were looking for teen suspects but they instead detained a Black couple in their 50s and 60s at gunpoint, lawsuit says

  • An aged Black couple is suing a Texas police division after they had been arrested at gunpoint.
  • Officers stated they had been trying to find teenage suspects after they pulled over the couple, per the lawsuit.
  • The lawsuit alleges extreme drive, unlawful search and seizure, and violation of the People With Disabilities Act.

A Black aged couple has filed a lawsuit towards a Texas police division after they stated police violently arrested them at gunpoint whereas trying to find teenage suspects. 

Attorneys for 67-year-old Michael Lewis and his girlfriend, 57-year-old Regina Armstead, stated the Rosenberg Police Division used extreme drive through the November 2020 arrest. 

“What they went by was extremely demeaning and dehumanizing and unconstitutional,” lawyer Lauren Bonds informed Insider. 

The lawsuit stated that 5 RPD officers had been trying to find a bunch of Black youngsters who had been suspected of brandishing weapons and assault after they pulled over Lewis and Armstead. 

“RPD incorrectly recognized Ms. Armstead’s automobile because the one utilized by the group of teenagers to flee the scene of an alleged assault, despite the fact that Plaintiffs are senior residents and don’t remotely match the outline of the teenager suspects,” the lawsuit stated. 

In the course of the cease, officers instructed Armstead to throw her keys out the window, get on her knees exterior of the automobile, after which stroll backward to the police automobile along with her fingers within the air, the lawsuit stated. One officer arrested Armstead “whereas two different officers saved their weapons pointed at her,” the lawsuit stated. 

Whereas she was being arrested, Armstead informed officers that Lewis was a dialysis affected person with a stint in his hand and that he couldn’t have something tight, like handcuffs, round his arm or wrist, the lawsuit stated. 

“She stood telling them, ‘My boyfriend’s on dialysis,'” Lewis recalled to Insider. “‘He cannot have any handcuffs on his arms in any respect. He is on dialysis,’ however they did not hearken to that.”

‘We each feared for our lives’

After Armstead was positioned behind a police automobile, “4 armed officers—together with one holding an assault rifle—then ordered Mr. Lewis out of the automobile and informed him to get on the bottom,” the lawsuit stated. 

“I used to be praying to God that the weapons did not go off on us as a result of whenever you level weapons at any person like that, you by no means know,” Lewis informed Insider. 

The officers cuffed Lewis regardless of his medical objections and positioned him in a separate police automobile whereas they searched Armstead’s automobile and confiscated her mobile phone with out clarification, stated the lawsuit, which accuses RPD of unlawful search and seizure, illegal detention, and false arrest. 

“That was actual scary. I let you know, it actually was. I feared for my life. I actually did, and Regina too,” Lewis stated. “We each feared for our lives. As a result of, like I stated, a gun may have went off.”

The lawsuit stated that after officers discovered “no weapons, no contraband, and no different proof of criminality” in Armstead’s automobile, she and Lewis had been uncuffed. Armstead requested why they’d been stopped and searched, and an officer stated they had been trying to find teenage suspects, the lawsuit stated. 

Armstead later realized she didn’t have her mobile phone or her keys, the lawsuit stated. They returned to the scene to gather Armstead’s cellphone from an officer and found their key fob, which had been tossed out the window at police instruction, was crushed. RPD stated they might reimburse Armstead for the important thing fob, however they didn’t, the lawsuit stated. 

Each Armstead and Lewis “felt frightened, humiliated, embarrassed, and persecuted for being Black, and suffered extreme psychological anguish from the arrest and from being detained,” stated the lawsuit, which claims officers violated the Fourth Modification and the People With Disabilities Act. 

“Because of the handcuffing throughout his arrest, Mr. Lewis’s medical machine in his wrist malfunctioned. This resulted in three separate medical procedures to interchange his fistula. These procedures induced extended ache and struggling to Mr. Lewis,” the lawsuit stated. 

Bonds, Lewis and Armstead’s lawyer, stated she hopes “to see if we are able to get them some accountability and justice.”

A spokesperson for RPD didn’t instantly reply to Insider’s request for remark.

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