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A complaint filed with the United States District Court for the District of Utah on Wednesday is seeking no less than $500,000 for alleged civil rights violations by the Logan City Police Department.

The complaint states the city of Logan and its police unlawfully detained a local man and “intentionally and maliciously” violated his constitutional and natural rights. Ten causes of action are listed including unlawful seizure, detainer, arrest and false imprisonment; intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress; negligent training, employment, and supervision; assault; and false testimony among others.

Logan Police Chief Gary Jensen told The Herald Journal he had recently been made aware of the lawsuit, but was unable to comment because the litigation was pending.

Craig Carlston, the Logan city attorney, said he had recently received a copy of the complaint but couldn’t yet speak to the allegations.

“We’ll look at it really closely. I know that the police department, and all the officers, take these things very seriously,” Carlston said. “My experience with the police department is they’ve been really diligent about complying with the constitution and state code, and they care deeply about those things.”

Carlston, who became the city attorney in April after working as the assistant city attorney for around seven years, said the newly filed compliant is the first of its kind since his time with the city.

“This is the first ever civil rights complaint that we’ve received since I’ve been here,” Carlston said.

On June 16, 2020, according to the complaint, Angel Echevarria called 911 in regard to a woman who had second- and third-degree burns from an accident that occurred behind her home. Eight officers were said to have responded to the call.

The complaint states the Echevarria was ordered by police to stay on the scene, and he complied. But when he asked police why he couldn’t leave, the complaint states he was then “surrounded” by five officers.

Echevarria “politely asked if he could close the front door because it was raining and a baby was in the home,” the complaint states, then officers “forcibly arrested and detained” him “without probable cause or any reasonable basis” for the action.

Echevarria was searched, according to the complaint, and officers found a prescription pharmaceutical card containing his identification information. Officers then said they had a warrant for his arrest.

“The officers refused to identify who the warrant was for or provide a copy,” the complaint states, and no arrest warrant existed for Echevarria.

Echevarria was “detained in a police vehicle for many hours,” the complaint states, while an officer “falsely swore under oath” to obtain a warrant.

According to the search warrant, the officer indicated Echevarria was “intoxicated and appeared to be under the influence of illegal narcotics,” and was “adamant officers and EMS did not enter the residence” to provide medical care for the woman. The warrant also states Echevarria was “vocal about not allowing officers inside the residence.”

“These statements were objectively false,” the complaint states, explaining Echevarria was not visibly impaired, was not “vocal” about allowing officers in the residence, and did provide information to law enforcement.

A warrant was obtained, according the complaint, and samples of Echevarria’s blood and urine were taken.

Court records show Echevarria was charged in the 1st District Court with intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance; the case was dismissed around five months later. The woman involved also faced controlled substance charges; she pleaded guilty to one class-A misdemeanor.

According to the complaint, Echevarria attempted to contact Logan city through legal counsel in effort to address the incident and “to obtain assurances that additional training had been given” to police to thwart future violations. The city, the complaint states, has “refused to acknowledge the events and refused to communicate.”

The complaint lists defendants as Logan city; officers Hayden Nelson, Victor Deras and Bret Randall; and John Does 1-10, which are said to be unknown police officers employed by Logan city.

“Plaintiff has suffered, as a direct and proximate result of the unlawful actions of Defendants, and each of them, great bodily pain and injury and mental anguish, from then until now, and he will continue so to suffer in the future; and he has lost and will in the future lose large sums of money by reason of having been greatly humiliated and held up to public scorn and derision as a result of the actions of Defendants,” the complaint states.

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