Police Officers charged in alleged police brutality case, sued
Six Police officers are named in a civil lawsuit filed in the High Court earlier this month.
The suit is against Captain Margie Alofaituli, Police Officers Faau Levi; ElleryQuinn Histake, Togia; Verna Montgomery, Dustin Maiava and the American Samoa Government.
This is in relation to an alleged Police brutality incident that occurred in May 2021 involving Setope Fa’alata who was assaulted while in handcuffs.
The 23-page civil suit was filed earlier this month by Sean Morrison Law Offices based in Louisiana on behalf of the plaintiff.
The cause of action outlines 18 claims filed including assault and battery; false charges and cover-up; use of excessive force; denial of medical care; negligent infliction of emotional distress among others claims.
According to the lawsuit, the Officers are accused of beating the plaintiff, who had allegedly assaulted his girlfriend.
There is also evidence indicating that their immediate supervisor allegedly attempted to cover up the incident, and there was an admission written in the report on the investigation of the alleged assault.
It is alleged that Fa’alata was taken directly to the Tafuna Correctional Facility and he was refused by corrections officers who stated that the plaintiff should be taken to the hospital for medical care before he can be booked and confined at the correctional facility.
At the hospital, Fa’alata was treated for a concussion, a fractured jaw, teeth, and severe damage to his eye. His lower jaw suffered two mandible fractures, on both sides, eleven of Faalata’s teeth had to be wired.
The lawsuit states that as a direct result of the unconstitutional conduct the plaintiff suffered pain and suffering, mental anguish, and seeks general and special damages in excess of the minimum monetary jurisdictional limits of the High Court.
Furthermore, the plaintiff is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, pre-and post-judgment interest, and such other and further relief this Court deems just and appropriate.
Meanwhile, the criminal case in this matter is pending in the High Court against Police Captain Margie Alofaituli, Police Officers Faau Levi; Elleryquinn Histake and Dustin Maiava who are all released on bond.
Alofaituli is charged with forgery, criminal fraud and offering a false instrument for filing while officers Maiava, Histake and Levi are each charged with assault in the 1st- degree.