The city of Birmingham and the Birmingham Police Department are facing a federal lawsuit after a man in a wheelchair claimed an officer beat him. However, the City refuses to release video evidence of the incident showing what actually happened.
Kijuan Sanchez McCurdy's attorneys filed the lawsuit in the District Court of the Northern District of Alabama in May of this year, two years after the alleged incident.
In the complaint, McCurdy claims his Fourth and 14th Amendments rights were violated. He also claims the officer broke state assault and battery laws and intentionally inflicted emotional distress on him.
The lawsuit claims that on May 31, 2020, two officers responding to a domestic violence complaint concerning McCurdy arrived at 1128 48th Street, Ensley. After making contact with the complainant, they were led by her to the 5300 block of Court J in Ensley to speak with McCurdy. They found him sitting in his wheelchair outside of his home, according to court documents. Two of the officers escorted the complainant back to the 48th Street location, and one of them stayed with McCurdy. That's when McCurdy claimed the officer pushed him from his wheelchair onto the ground. He claims he suffered several personal injuries.
1819 News requested body camera, dash camera or any other video footage related to the incident. A public records request for that footage was denied.
"Our Public Information Requests Team received your request relating to the referenced incident below," the City responded. "Because bodycam footage is investigative material, it is not public record. Therefore, we will be unable to provide the records."
The City said officials could not comment on pending litigation.
McCurdy has a criminal record, including drug charges, public intoxication, domestic violence and burglary. His attorneys claim he was not under the influence of any substance at the time of the incident.
McCurdy is seeking relief under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
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