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Jury sides with Topeka officer in lawsuit over 2018 arrest


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Topeka police officer did not use excessive force while arresting a man during a traffic stop four years ago, a federal grand jury ruled Thursday.

Timothy Harris, who is Black, had alleged in the lawsuit that Officer Christopher, who is white, violated his civil rights on Jan. 23, 2018, by throwing him to the ground, punching him, and using pepper spray while his hands were handcuffed behind his back.

Harris suffered a broken jaw and scrapes during the arrest. He was later convicted of parallel parking too far away from the curb and interference with a law enforcement officer.

In closing arguments Thursday, Harris’ attorney, Carlton Odim, said Harris was not resisting arrest and Janes became frustrated after Harris made what he considered a sarcastic remark to the officer, WIBW reported.

But Janes’ attorney, Allen Glendenning, said body cam video from the arrest showed that Harris was actively resisting and had displayed several “pre-attack” behaviors police are trained to look for during an arrest.