Jury in civil trial decides no excessive force during arrest

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal jury in West Virginia has found that two Logan County police officers did not use excessive force during a 2018 encounter with a Black man.

The verdict came in a civil trial filed by Frank Morgan Jr. against two white officers, Joshua Tincher and Kevin Conley, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. Jurors decided on Friday that the officers had not committed battery against Morgan, nor did they assault him or delay medical care.

Morgan testified that he was beaten and left with a broken arm, seven staples in the back of his head and more than a dozen contusions and lacerations.

The officers testified that Morgan punched them before being arrested, and Tincher said Morgan injured himself by lunging and hitting his head on a table.

Jurors also did not find that Tincher, who had filed a counterclaim, experienced any pain, suffering or mental anguish when taking Morgan into custody.

The claims stem from an incident in April 2018, when Tincher and Conley came across Morgan and his ex-fiancee while investigating a report of a man masturbating on a street. They found Morgan in his underwear and ended up arresting him.

Attorney Wendy Greve, who represented Tincher and Conley, said in a statement that civil rights cases are never easy.

“This verdict confirms that jurors can and do see that our law enforcement personnel are important members of the public dedicated to protecting the public,” Greve said.

Kerry Nessell, who represented Morgan, wasn’t available Monday for comment.