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Man Suing Officers for Flashlight Assault; Highlights Race Differences

Associated Press

January 03, 2011

SPRINGFIELD — A Springfield man who alleges he was beaten with a flashlight by police during a traffic stop has filed a federal lawsuit against the city, the police commissioner and six officers.

The suit filed by Melvin Jones III last week alleges he was beaten unconscious, blinded in one eye and went to the hospital with broken bones and teeth.

The suit accuses the officers, who are white, of violating the civil rights of Jones, who is black.

It seeks damages and fees.

Jones was pulled over in November 2009 on suspicion of drug possession.

Police claimed he reached for an officer’s gun.

One officer has been fired and faces criminal charges.

A police spokesman tells The Republican newspaper the department is professional and Jones’ criminal past will be a liability in court.

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