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Seattle woman says police lied

Dec. 31, 2012 at 3:30 PM   |   Comments

SEATTLE, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- A Seattle woman who was wrongly accused of attacking a police officer has alleged officers lied to cover up excessive force at a May Day protest.

Maria Morales lost her job and home after being arrested on May 1 at a protest in downtown Seattle, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

A female Seattle police officer alleged Morales, 30, punched her and kicked another officer. Morales was charged with assault for the incident.

However, those charges were later dropped when a video of the scene revealed that no such assault on Morales' part took place.

"It's a complete fabrication, and the reason that we know that is because it was on video," Morales attorney Darryl Parker said. "The statement of probable cause that led to her arrest is completely false."

As a result of the arrest, Morales was fired from her job as an emergency medical technician and subsequently lost her apartment, Parker said. She also has thousands of dollars to pay in attorneys' fees.

Parker filed a lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court in Seattle on behalf of Morales, alleging his client's constitutional rights were violated.

The City of Seattle is named as a defendant in the civil for failing to train and manage its police force, which was sanctioned after Department of Justice investigators found a "pattern of excessive force" within the department.

"The need to train officers in the constitutional limitation on the arrest of citizens and the amount of force to apply when doing so can be said to be 'so obvious' that the failure to do so could properly be characterized as 'deliberate indifference' to constitutional rights," Parker wrote in the lawsuit.

No amount of damages was specified in the civil lawsuit. The city has yet to respond.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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