Couple alleges Kernersville police illegally took $20k, violating their constitutional rights

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FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — A Surry County couple alleges in court papers filed this week that Kernersville police officers kicked the husband in the ribs and face, and placed their knees on his back while arresting him, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

The new details are contained in a response to a motion filed by town officials urging a federal judge to grant summary judgment in their favor. Teresa Blackburn and Adrian Martinez-Perez filed the lawsuit last year alleging that five Kernersville police officers assaulted Martinez-Perez and took $20,000 in cash from the couple, violating their constitutional rights.

The officers named in the lawsuit are J.L. Redden, E.G. Shumate, K.L. Cullison, M.W. Long and R.L. Joyner.

Clarke Dummitt, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, has argued that Blackburn and Martinez-Perez were victims of the federal Equitable Sharing program. Critics have said that local law-enforcement agencies have used the program to illegally seize cash from people without a warrant.

Read full story: The Winston-Salem Journal

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