Former Roanoke Rapids police Chief Chuck Hasty is no longer a defendant in a federal civil lawsuit filed by a current officer in the city’s police department.
On Thursday Chief United States District Judge Richard E. Myers II approved a motion which dismisses Hasty as a defendant in his official capacity. The current Enfield police chief had already been dismissed as a defendant in his individual capacity.
Myers ruled that claims of Daniel W. Jenkins, the officer who initiated the lawsuit, are dismissed with prejudice.
The judge also directed the clerk of court to remove Hasty’s name from the case.
Hasty had no comment this morning as the case is still ongoing in the court system.
The ruling by Myers came after Jenkins’ former attorney filed a motion earlier this month which said, “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 said, “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, Anthony J. Cuticchia Jr., who Jenkins fired this week, had written in documents he had consulted with counsel for the city and the city indicated it took no position on the matter. Hasty consented, the notice says, and also requested that his name be removed from the header of the case.
In light of the order, Myers ruled that a previous motion filed on behalf of Hasty to dismiss is now moot.
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.