Last summer, I filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of my client, a Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, middle school student, who without provocation, was forcefully taken down to the hard floor at his school by police school liaison officer Brandon Lingle, suffering a concussion and black eye, as well as emotional distress. My client and his mother retained me not only to obtain justice for him, but to make clear to both the Sun Prairie Police Department and others who are taking note of this case, that police officers simply cannot use excessive force against children in our schools and get away with it. You can read more about the media coverage when the lawsuit was filed and see the TV broadcast of the school security video showing the takedown of my client in my previous post on this case. Although my client and his mother have always been willing to resolve this matter through a fair and reasonable settlement, to date, Officer Lingle and the City of Sun Prairie have refused to enter into any negotiations, choosing instead to try to have the case dismissed before trial.
Late last week, presiding federal Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker, issued an important decision which affirms my client’s right to have a jury decide whether Officer Lingle used excessive force when he took my client down to the hard school floor. Based on the written submissions by both parties, Judge Crocker stated that:
I cannot find that Officer Lingle’s takedown was reasonable as a matter of law….As a result, a jury will have to hear the evidence, find facts and resolve this claim with a verdict.
Unless the parties resolve this case through settlement, trial is scheduled for 4 days in federal district court in Madison, from October 27-30, 2014. My clients will continue to seek justice for school children through this case, whether by obtaining a fair settlement or presenting their case to a jury next month.
For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his website: Systems Change Consulting.