Lawsuit Filed Against Baltimore County Police, Alleges Assault During Arrest Of Teen In 2016

Attorneys for a teenager filed a lawsuit against Baltimore County police, alleging the boy was assaulted during a 2016 arrest in Woodlawn. The lawsuit alleges officers assaulted the 17-year-old during a routine traffic stop.

After leaving a party around 2:30 a.m. December 31, 2016, Shawn Curtis Harris flagged down an unlicensed cab that was being operated by a 15-year-old. Baltimore County police was conducting a traffic stop, checking license plates when they discovered that the Honda Accord had been reported stolen. Instead of complying with the routine check, the driver of the Honda fled the area, according to officer Eric Nash.

The driver drove to a Days Inn, parked, jumped out of the Honda and fled on foot. Harris who had no prior arrest history exited the vehicle as and started to run, but instead surrendered before reaching the end of the parking lot, according to the lawsuit.The lawsuit alleged that officer Matthew Gonzalez assaulted Harris. At the hearing, Gonzalez testified Harris tripped and fell and he “delivered ‘compliance strikes’ to Mr. Harris’ face when he failed to follow commands.”

Two other officers, Tyler Shaff and John Dill, were also implicated in the assault. According to the lawsuit, Gonzalez testified that the officers “also delivered numerous ‘compliance blows’ to Mr. Harris’ head and body as all three of the officers were unable to pull the child’s hands into position to be cuffed.”

In juvenile court, Harris was found not to have committed the offense in June.

Harris was transported to the Woodlawn precinct, before being taken to Sinai Hospital for treatment.

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