Federal Lawsuit Alleges Unjustified Force By Columbus Police

In a lawsuit filed Friday, 21-year-old Joseph Hines of Jackson, Mich., accuses officers of a "brutal, unjustified physical attack" that led to a three-day hospitalization and permanent scars.(Photo: Columbus Division of Police)
In a lawsuit filed Friday, 21-year-old Joseph Hines of Jackson, Mich., accuses officers of a "brutal, unjustified physical attack" that led to a three-day hospitalization and permanent scars.(Photo: Columbus Division of Police)

An Ohio State University student has filed a federal lawsuit against several Columbus police officers, claiming they used brutal and unjustified force in an arrest last year.

A lawsuit filed in Columbus federal court says then 20-year-old Joseph Hines was standing on High Street last summer when he was approached by a Columbus police officer and asked about a container of beer. The suit says Hines was then handcuffed, tackled, sprayed with pepper spray and punched repeatedly. He says he was hospitalized for three days and left with permanent scars

Hines was originally charged with several counts, including fleeing and resisting arrests. Prosecutors later dropped all charges except littering. The suit claims five officers violated his civil rights and caused pain and suffering and mental anguish.

Hines is asking for punitive damages and another $75,000 to cover court costs and attorneys fees.

Columbus Police did not respond to immediate requests for comment.

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