By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Luther Gonzalez-Hall, 22, has sued the city of Dearborn and the Police Department, alleging he was assaulted by a police officer in November 2018.
Gonzalez-Hall claims in the suit that he was riding his bike on Telegraph Road after leaving his girlfriend’s house when he asked Officer Marvin Sanders for directions. He visited a White Castle restaurant when Sanders followed him inside, repeatedly asking why Gonzalez-Hall went into the restaurant after receiving the directions.
Gonzalez-Hall responded by saying he wasn’t for sure where he was going, and Sanders then said he gave the directions Gonzalez-Hall asked for.
The entire encounter at the restaurant was captured on body camera footage.
Gonzalez-Hall started walking away from Sanders and exiting the restaurant when he is followed, running away before he was caught and handcuffed in the grass.
In between, Sanders’ body camera falls and another officer’s camera shows the moment Gonzalez-Hall was handcuffed.
Later in the video, Gonzalez-Hall repeatedly said, “I was just asking for directions,” and, “You’re chocking me” to police. After being on the ground, Gonzalez-Hall ran again before he was finally put inside a police patrol vehicle by officers.
Charges against Gonzalez-Hall were dropped by the city.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. Eastern District of Michigan Court Oct. 29 claims Sanders used excessive force. Dearborn Police Department representatives declined to comment on the lawsuit.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])