KARK reports that a federal judge has ordered Pope County to pay $4,500 in attorney fees in a police brutality lawsuit over conduct of law officers in Dover because evidence that should have existed from police recording devices was missing.
Eva and Ron Robinson sued over treatment by a Dover marshal, Pope County deputy and State Police while she and her son Matthew, 16, were walking a dog in 2011. Audio from the Pope County sheriff’s recording unit is missing. Nothing was available from a State Police camera. Data from a Taser used on one of the Robinsons also was missing.
Holly Dickson of the ACLU, which backed the lawsuit, said the evidence could have answered a lot of questions about the encounter. A Pope County JP has issued a statement unhappy about the county payment for an elected official’s failure to comply with court orders.
The case is awaiting trial. The plaintiffs likely will use the absence of evidence that should be available to cast doubt on the credibility of law officers in the case.
Here’s the background on the case. No evidence was found that the Robinson’s had been doing anything wrong. Eva Robinson was slammed against a patrol car, among other physical actions by officers in the arrest.