HUDSON — A civil rights complaint was filed in federal court Wednesday by a woman accusing Hudson police officers of assaulting her outside the former police station in 2017.
Tiffany Damon, 27, of Ancram, was attempting to record police making an arrest using her cell phone last February when the alleged assault took place, according to the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Albany.
The complaint names Hudson Police Chief L. Edward Moore and former Sgt. Randy Clark, Officer Christopher Duntz and six unnamed officers as defendants. Moore declined comment Thursday, saying he had not read the complaint.
Moore and Clark are accused of using excessive force and violating Damon’s right of free speech, according to the complaint. Duntz is accused of false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and failure to intervene in the alleged assault, according to the complaint. The six officers not named in the complaint are accused of failure to intervene, according to the complaint.
None of the officers who took part in the arrests have been charged with any wrongdoing, according to the court document.
The complaint alleges the incident took place outside former police headquarters at 427 Warren St. after officers made arrests in a drug raid.
Damon went to the police station where a crowd had gathered outside and where her boyfriend, Brian Fields, was detained after the raid, she said Wednesday.
Clark allegedly emerged from the station and tasered two individuals on the sidewalk, according to the complaint. Damon then took her phone out to attempt to take video when Clark put his hand out, shoved her and knocked to her to the ground. Damon said Wednesday.
Damon did not say how many feet away she was from the officers because of the pending criminal case against her, she said.
“There was plenty of space for the officers,” Damon’s attorney Leo Glickman said Wednesday. “She was standing by taking videos and not in anyway physically interfering with the officers.”
Outraged, Damon began yelling after officers took her phone for evidence, she said. That, Damon said, is when Moore picked her up and slammed her to the ground, according to the complaint. The court document lists Damon as being 4-feet-11 and 120 pounds.
Meanwhile, police have accused Damon of physically interfering with officers in the performance of their duty. Damon denied all the police allegations in the complaint.
Damon, who was not under arrest, was taken inside the station by a female officer to calm down, she said.
Damon’s phone, which police said they confiscated as evidence, was returned to her several hours later, according to the suit.
Video of the incident could not be recovered from the phone because the phone was damaged during the incident, Damon said.
Damon was arrested April 5, 2017, by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office on a warrant from Hudson police during a traffic stop and charged with second-degree obstruction of governmental administration, a class A misdemeanor. She has pleaded not guilty to the charge. A trial is scheduled for April 14 in Hudson City Court.
Glickman, of the Manhattan-based law firm Stoll, Glickman Bellina, has in the past filed lawsuits against the New York Police Department, two lawsuits against the Hudson Police Department and one against the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, he said.
Glickman did not request an investigation of the Damon incident by the FBI’s Civil Rights Division or state Attorneys General’s Office, he said.
“My sense is this is probably not something they would follow up on,” Glickman said.
Damon suffered bruises and a torn meniscus in her left knee, according to the complaint. Damon did not know which officer allegedly caused the knee injury, she said.
Damon’s medical expenses were covered by her insurance provider, but she lost wages while she was out of work for at least three weeks after her knee surgery, she said.
A jury will determine damages, court and attorney’s fees if the case is successful at trial, according to the complaint.
To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.