Baltimore Board of Estimates to vote on $65K settlement for detention, searches

Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer//August 29, 2017

Baltimore Board of Estimates to vote on $65K settlement for detention, searches

By Heather Cobun

//Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer

//August 29, 2017


The Baltimore City Board of Estimates is scheduled to approve Wednesday a $65,000 settlement with a man who was searched several times and taken into custody last year despite no drugs or weapons being found on him.

Ryan Brown filed suit in Baltimore City Circuit Court after he claims he was stopped, seized, detained and searched by two Baltimore Police officers in May 2016. He was handcuffed and taken into custody but no contraband was found.

Officers Steven Foster and Sufian Hassan stopped Brown as part of an initiative focusing on drug and weapon suppression and believed they observed Brown engage in a hand-to-hand exchange with another individual, according to a memorandum about the settlement prepared for the city spending panel.

The officers pulled up next to Brown in their vehicle and attempted to ask him questions but he ignored them, according to the memo. He was searched based on the suspected drug transaction but no drugs were uncovered.

Brown was taken to a police station where he claims he was subjected to a strip search, which the officers deny, according to the memo. He was released from custody and offered a ride home, which he declined.

Brown claims he never exhibited any behavior that could be “reasonably interpreted as contrary to the law” and was not violent or verbally combative with the officers, according to his complaint.

“Defendant Officers acts of detaining, seizing, arresting, imprisoning Plaintiff, and holding Plaintiff incommunicado were made without any legal justification or proper authority,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit alleged assault, battery, false attest, false imprisonment, civil conspiracy and violation of the Maryland Declaration of Rights.

The Baltimore City Law Department recommended settlement of the case due to “concerns over the lawfulness of the searches, conflicting factual issues, and given the uncertainties and unpredictability of jury verdicts.”

A trial had been scheduled for July.

Brown is represented by Domenic Iamele of Iamele & Iamele LLP.

The case is Ryan Brown v. Officer Steven Foster, et al., 24C16004272.


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