Dearborn police say they’ve cleared department personnel of using unnecessary force in their review of an encounter last December of a man who was riding a bicycle in a crime-ridden neighborhood, but that won’t likely stop a civil lawsuit planned by the man’s lawyers.
The review came after attorneys for Ali Baydoun filed a civil rights complaint against the police department and plan to follow it up with a federal lawsuit alleging excessive force, false arrest, and assault and battery, WXYZ, Channel 7 reports.
The case received attention after the Arab American News posted a police dashcam video of the arrest on YouTube after obtaining it from the Law Office of Cyril Hall, which is representing Baydoun in the expected lawsuit.
The video shows a physical encounter that resulted when Ali Baydoun was patted down for weapons. Baydoun’s attorneys say that he had stopped to fix a chain in his bicycle and police approached him for no good reason. He was riding his bicycle home from his job as a dishwasher at Mango’s, a local hookah lounge, tht doesn’t close until 3 a.m. on busy nights.
City: Video Doesn't Show Full Story
However, the city said in a statement that the video doesn’t show the circumstances that attracted officers’ attention or convey the full context of the situation.
In a statement, the city said:
“ … What attracted the officer’s attention to this individual incident is not
given on the video. Mr. Beydoun [sic] was not dressed properly for the 20 degree weather that December morning. Despite riding his bicycle in the street, his bike did not have a light and he disregarded several stop signs.
“Mr. Beydoun [sic] was on a bike at 4:47 a.m. in a neighborhood that has experienced auto thefts and break-ins. It is common for criminals to use a bike when traveling to an area to steal cars. Autos have been stolen in cold weather when owners start them, but leave them unattended to warm up.
“Mr. Beydoun [sic] could not produce an I.D. when asked to do so by the officer, nor could he answer where he had come from. The officer then indicated that he was going to conduct a pat-down for weapons. That is when Mr. Beydoun [sic] began to resist and pull away from the officer.”
Baydoun is “mentally challenged,” his attorneys said, and speaks only broken English. He emigrated from Lebanon six years ago.
However, the city said in its statement that a “family member told police that despite his behavior during the incident and his lack of ability to clearly communicate with officers, he did not take medications, did not have a mental health diagnosis or have a known mental illness.”
The attorneys say that Baydoun was drug out of the dash-cam’s view, but can still be heard screaming as officers scream for him to stop fighting. Several more police ars responded and officers huddled around Baydoun, who was still pinned to the ground.
He was eventually handcuffed and placed in a police vehicle. He was not arrested, but was taken to Oakwood Hospital. His attorney says the trip to the hospital was for treatment of injuries sustained in the incident, but the city said he wasn’t injured, but was transported there for a mental health evaluation.
Baydoun claims he suffered from back injuries, facial injuries and emotional distress as a result of the altercation.