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Defendants in a lawsuit brought forth by a Roanoke Rapids police officer have been granted an extension to respond to the complaint.

United States Clerk of Court Peter A. Moore Jr. signed the order earlier this month, according to online records filed in the federal court system.

The order gives the defendants — the city of Roanoke Rapids, former Roanoke Rapids police Chief Chuck Hasty, the Roanoke Rapids Police Department and District Attorney Valerie Asbell — up to and including December 28 to respond to the complaint filed by Daniel W. Jenkins, a lieutenant within the Roanoke Rapids Police Department.

The defendants sought through a motion more time to file responses. The original deadline was November 25.

Attorneys for the defendants requested additional time to properly investigate the claims asserted in the complaint and confer with their clients prior to responding. “This motion is filed in good faith for the reasons stated and not for purposes of delay,” the motion says.

The officer is asking for damages of $250,000 and any other relief the court deems proper either individually, jointly or in the alternative together with interest, cost of the lawsuit and reasonable attorney fees.

Jenkins claims the action is to recover damages against the defendants for civil conspiracy; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent infliction of emotional distress; and the violation of the right of procedural due process of the United States Constitution.

The center of the lawsuit goes back to July 28 of 2018 when Jenkins was employed as a canine handler with the department and was called to the scene where a person was stopped for a tail light violation. The driver had a pistol which was within his immediate reach.

Jenkins was called to the scene when the driver asked for a supervisor and, according to the lawsuit, both he and the responding officer who made the traffic stop, after several times of demanding the person exit the vehicle, attempted to remove the individual. 

The lawsuit claims after several attempts by the officers a decision was made to deploy the dog, which bit the driver’s ear causing minor injury.

The lawsuit says the next day Hasty had an officer review the matter for excessive use of force. That officer’s opinion was that Jenkins’ actions showed no wrongdoing.