Robert Johnson has filed a lawsuit against three Mesa police officers, accusing them of using excessive force and inflicting physical and mental pain on him.
The lawsuit stems back to an incident on May 23, 2018. Johnson was accompanying a friend who was picking up his items from an ex-girlfriend’s apartment. Someone called the police and said that Johnson’s friend was trying to break into the apartment. Three police officers arrived to the scene shortly after the call and confronted the two men outside an elevator at the apartment complex. One of the officers told Johnson to stand near the balcony by the elevators.
According to the lawsuit, Johnson complied with the officers and started talking on his cellphone. Johnson allowed officer Jhonte Jones to search him for weapons and said that he might have a knife.
Then, an officer ordered Johnson to sit against the wall and he partially lowered himself against the wall.
“As (Johnson) leaned against the wall, multiple Mesa officers, including the Officer Defendants, rapidly approached him from all sides,” the lawsuit states. “Defendant Jones yelled ‘all the way down’ as he moved toward (Johnson). Within seconds, the Officer Defendants and another officer violently attacked (Johnson), striking him repeatedly. Defendant Jones appeared to do a knee strike and then punched (Johnson) numerous times, including strikes to the head. Based on information and belief, Defendant Calderon punched (Johnson) at least once in the head and pulled (Johnson) legs out.”
There’s a video that shows Johnson telling the officers that they don’t need to put so much force on them and then challenged them to a fight.
The lawsuit states officer Rudy Monarrez struck Johnson and he was then shoved into a door, put on the ground, shackled and gagged with a spit mask.
The officers then picked up Johnson by his feet and arms and carried him to a patrol car.
“The Officer Defendants knew that (Johnson) had committed no crime and that there was no probable cause for his arrest,” the lawsuit states.
Johnson is seeking $1.97 million from the lawsuit.