The attorney for a Roanoke Rapids police officer suing the city of Roanoke Rapids, its police department and former chief filed a motion in United States Court to to dismiss the former chief in his official capacity.
Former Roanoke Rapids police Chief Chuck Hasty, now chief in Enfield, has already been dismissed in his individual capacity in the lawsuit filed on behalf of Daniel W. Jenkins. District Attorney Valerie Asbell has been dismissed as a defendant as well.
The notice filed today says, “Official capacity suits are tantamount to a claim against the government entity and should be dismissed as duplicative when the entity remains as a defendant.”
The notice also says, “As the government entity is a party to the suit, defendant Hasty in his official capacity should be dismissed as a defendant with prejudice.”
The attorney for Jenkins, Anthony J. Cuticchia Jr., said in the document he has consulted with counsel for the city and the city has indicated it takes no position on the matter. Hasty consents, the notice says, and has also requested that his name be removed from the header of the case.
The notice then asks Chief District Court Judge Richard E. Myers Jr. to grant the voluntary dismissal with prejudice.
Grant the voluntary dismissal of Charles “Chuck” Hasty with prejudice.
Hasty had no comment this afternoon.
The motion to dismiss Hasty in his official capacity comes after a separate motion was filed by Jenkins’ attorney Monday to dismiss claim 2 of the original complaint which alleges a civil conspiracy between Hasty and Asbell in the case.
According to a response filed in the case, “when plaintiff dismissed Hasty and Asbell from the lawsuit in their individual capacities, plaintiff in effect dismissed the civil conspiracy cause of action and certainly rendered it moot. The court should therefore dismiss the civil conspiracy claim in its entirety.”
As of this report the judge had not ruled on the motions.
The center of the lawsuit goes back to July 28 of 2018 when Jenkins was employed as a canine handler with the Roanoke Rapids Police 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 former Roanoke Rapids Police Chief Chuck Hasty had an officer review the matter for excessive use of force. That officer’s opinion was that Jenkins’ actions showed no wrongdoing.
The lawsuit claims Hasty chose to ignore the finding and complete a second review.