Couple Sues Officers, Saying They Were Wrongly Targeted

PAPILLION, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska couple has sued three Papillion police officers they say wrongfully and violently targeted them in a 2019 traffic stop.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska filed the federal lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of Jason Storrs and Amber Smith, who say Papillion police violated their civil rights, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

The lawsuit says Storrs was driving Smith home from work on Dec. 29, 2019, when police stopped them and ordered them out of the car. Police were responding to a report of shoplifting at a nearby store and said Storr’s car matched the description of a car leaving the crime scene.

The lawsuit says officers shocked Storrs with a stun gun repeatedly even as he was complying with police commands and threw Smith to the ground so violently she had to be taken to a hospital.

Police later determined Storrs and Smith were not involved in the shoplifting and let them go without charges. Reviews by Papillion police and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office found no wrongdoing by the officers, and the local prosecutor's office concluded that the use of force was justified.

The ACLU said the descriptions of the shoplifting suspects and the car used did not match Storrs, Smith or their vehicle. An emergency dispatcher reported the suspects were four Black people a four-door silver car. Storrs is Black, Smith is White, and they were in their two-door silver car, the ACLU said.