Excessive force lawsuit filed against Norwood officer, chief

Man suing Norwood Police Department for excessive force

NORWOOD, Ohio (FOX19) - A Norwood police officer and the chief face an excessive force lawsuit filed by two brothers arrested at a fast food restaurant last year.

Eddie Matthews and Jermaine Lofton allege in court documents that Officer Jeffrey Stramm and Police Chief William Kramer violated their rights by Straumm unlawfully stopping, seizing, and arresting them, “causing significant physical and psychological injuries."

It was all caught on video at Taco Bell on the corner of Montgomery Road and Sherman Avenue on Sept. 21, 2019, according to the lawsuit.

Body cam video in excessive force lawsuit filed against Norwood officer, chief

"As a result of Stamm’s unlawful arrest of him, Eddie’s parole was temporarily revoked and he was forced to spend an additional nine days in the Hamilton County Justice Center," the suit states.

“Upon review of the body camera footage, all criminal charges were eventually dropped against (the siblings), but not before they were forced to expend significant sums on defense counsel in Eddie’s case and take time off of work on multiple occasions to return to Cincinnati from Illinois for court appearances in Jermaine’s case.”

FOX19 NOW asked Matthews why he did not do what the officers asked of him.

“If I comply, I will still get the same outcome,” Matthews replied. “I am still getting treated as less than a human being by complying to them. But I have a voice by standing up for what I believe in. I feel like I do not have rights.”

The men are seeking more than $75,000, “jointly and severally,” for compensatory damages to be proved at trial, punitive damages “because the actions of Defendants were malicious and intended to cause Plaintiff severe harm,” reasonable attorney’s fees, costs, and all other relief to which he may be lawfully entitled the suit states.

Norwood Police Department Lt. Ron Murphy says the department will not comment on any ongoing legal issue but says the department reviews every issue where resistance and force was used by officers.

Murphy did speak on use of force in general.

“When you do see officers use force, it is never pretty," Murphy said. "Force is ugly. Nobody likes to see force used. And two people can see force and come to two different conclusions.”

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