Kwall Barack Nadeau PLLC is honored to represent Marques Johnson, known professionally as Andre Roxx, in a lawsuit recently filed against the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office for violations of federal civil rights laws.
A video of the arrest from the cell phone of Plaintiff and the body cameras of Deputies Dunn, Pini and Ramos can be viewed here:
Click here to view the complaint.
On August 2, 2018, Pasco County, Florida Sheriff's Office deputies pulled over a vehicle claiming that they couldn’t see a part of the license plate on the trailer. The deputies immediately demanded that Mr. Johnson, a passenger in the vehicle, provide them with his identification and when he refused they arrested him claiming he was resisting arrest. The arrest of Mr. Johnson was despite the fact that Mr. Johnson’s father, the driver of the vehicle, had already provided police with Mr. Johnson's name.
After arresting Mr. Johnson, the deputies then searched the vehicle for drugs, despite the fact that the alleged basis for the stop was the fact that a deputy claimed he could not see a portion of the license plate. The deputies did not find any drugs in the vehicle.
Bernie McCabe, the State Attorney for the Sixth Judicial Circuit, then tried to prosecute Mr. Johnson for resisting arrest, just because he refused to immediately provide his identification to the deputies.
Judge Joseph Poblick entered an order dismissing the charges against Plaintiff.
The law is clearly established that a law enforcement officer cannot arrest an individual for failure to identify himself if the request for identification was not reasonably related to the circumstances justifying the stop.
The Pasco County Sheriff, has adopted the official motto of “We Fight as One,” which celebrates confrontation and violence and this arrest is part of a policy to encourage unnecessary confrontations with the public..