Federal brutality suit against Howard police thrown out again

Melvin J. Yates Jr. was convicted of disorderly conduct, says he was beaten

December 02, 2010|By Larry Carson, The Baltimore Sun

A federal court has for the second time dismissed a civil rights lawsuit accusing Howard County police officers of beating a Columbia barber after his arrest in April during a midnight brawl involving up to 50 people outside a Jessup restaurant.

In a brief ruling dated Tuesday, United State District Judge J. Frederick Motz granted a county motion to dismiss the case because it was repetitive of the previous case filed by Melvin J. Yates Jr. Motz noted that the original $50 million suit filed in June had been dismissed Aug. 17, and that the new filing Sept. 29 was no different than the earlier suit.

Yates was convicted in October of disorderly conduct and failure to obey a police officer during the incident, but was found innocent of resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. Police said Yates refused repeated orders to calm down and leave the area and had to be forcibly subdued. He said police beat him after he was handcuffed.

Motz said Yates is free to file a suit in state court, though his lawyer could not say immediately if Yates planned to do so.


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