KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A federal lawsuit alleges that Kansas City, Kansas, police broke into a man's home in the middle of the night and beat him before having him charged with battery of a law enforcement officer.
Joseph Harter, 43, claims in the lawsuit filed last week in federal court that he was temporarily blinded by blood in his eyes and went to a hospital after the October 2018 beating, The Kansas City Star reported.
The police department and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County declined to comment Wednesday on the pending litigation, which alleges that Harter was the victim of illegal entry, battery, false imprisonment and excessive force.
The municipal battery charge that was filed against him was dropped less than two months later “due to prosecutor discretion and pending investigation,” according to court records.
Harter’s attorney, William Dunn, said he does not believe Harter had interacted with Kansas City, Kansas, police before that night. It was unclear why police would have been at his house.
“I think what you’re wanting to understand, and certainly I want to understand too but I don’t, is what are the police doing in there,” he said to a reporter. “That will hopefully come out as the case moves forward.”
Dunn said that by filing suit Harter is hoping for compensation for his $13,000 in medical bills and lasting trauma. Harter and Dunn also hope to prevent such an event from happening to another resident of Kansas City, Kansas, he said.
“Maybe, depending on how this all shakes out, maybe the unified government needs to take a look at their policies and procedures and who they’re hiring to carry them out,” he said.
Wyandotte County prosecutor's office spokesman Jonathan Carter said in an email that no officers were charged in the case.