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30838 Vines Creek Road

Unit 3
Dagsboro, DE 19939
Phone: 302-537-3799
Fax: 302-537-3799

CONTACT:
Erwin Jansen
240-750-6540 (office)
301-828-8878 (cell)
ejansen@thenormanlawfirm.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Baltimore Woman Sued Police Department Over “Rough Rides”
Baltimore, MD (April 24, 2015) – On November 22, 2013 Christine Abbott (and The Norman Law Firm) filed a
lawsuit in the United States District Court for Maryland against Baltimore City Police Officers because the
officers assaulted her in the course of an unlawful arrest, and subjected her to a violent ride in a police van
which violated the written policies of the Police Department, and caused Abbott significant injury. The
allegations in Abbott’s Complaint have garnered attention in light of the circumstances surrounding the death of
Freddie Gray on April 19, 2015.
On June 1, 2012, Abbott was hosting a social gathering at her residence on Falls Road, in the Hampden
neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore City Police arrived at the residence around 12 a.m. in response
to a noise complaint. Police spoke with another resident of the household, Jake Masters, and aggressively
demanded that he put out his cigarette while they were speaking with him. Masters refused, and the Officers
responded aggressively.
The Officers threatened to use a taser on Masters. Abbott intervened, telling both Masters and the Police to
calm down, and that there was no need for threatening and/or use of a taser. In response, one of the Officers
grabbed Abbott and violently threw her to the ground. Abbott’s dress went up over her back, revealing her
underwear. Abbott was handcuffed with her hands behind her back. Her shoulder was cut and bleeding from
Police throwing her to the ground. Her ankle was also injured as a result of the conduct of the Police.
Ultimately, the Officers stood Abbott up. Her dress was ripped from the Officers throwing her to the ground,
and her breasts were exposed. Despite Abbott’s requests that someone cover her, Police refused to allow
Abbott, or standers-by to pull up her dress or otherwise conceal her breasts. Because Abbott was handcuffed,
she could not help herself. Officers then forcefully threw Abbott into the back of a police van. Police did not
strap or harness Abbott into the back of the police van, nor was a seatbelt used. Instead, Ms. Abbott was placed
on the metal bench in the van and was not secured to any portion of the vehicle for her safety.
The Officer controlling the van maniacally drove Ms. Abbott to the police station, during which time Ms.
Abbott’s person was violently tossed around the interior of the police van. As a result, Ms. Abbott sustained
additional injuries.

The Baltimore Police detained Ms. Abbott for approximately nineteen (19) hours. She was never read her rights.
She was charged with assault, resisting arrest, obstructing and hindering, and disorderly conduct. All charges
against her were ultimately dropped.
As a result of the arrest, Abbott sustained physical injuries as well as mental and emotional injuries. She
continues to seek treatment for her injuries nearly three years after the arrest. She has difficulty expressing the
fear and humiliation that she was subjected to by the Police, but says that she felt “less than human” when she
was thrown into the police van and “treated like cargo.”
“The actions by these Officers violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U. S. Constitution that
establish a citizen’s right to be free from unreasonable, excessive and unjustified use of force by the police,” said
Stephen P. Norman, attorney for Abbott. “There is no excuse for the injuries Officers inflicted on Ms. Abbott,
and no excuse for the failure of the Baltimore Police Department to discipline the officers involved.”
Based on information that has been provided by officials investigating the death of Freddie Gray, Norman
believes that there may be systemic issues with the Baltimore City Police Department which are flawed. “A
primary goal of this lawsuit is to ask the court to order the Baltimore Police Department to vastly improve their
training, supervision and internal review procedures. Individual officers cannot be permitted to abuse their
authority and police departments must hold them accountable when they do so,” said Norman. “Police
misconduct such as this breeds mistrust and contempt towards the men and women who risk their lives to
protect us,” he added.
The suit also asks the court to award compensatory and punitive damages to Abbott and for payment of
attorney’s fees.

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