Lynwood, 2 officers accused of excessive force, false arrest
Marcus Mosley, a 48-year-old Indiana resident, claims in a 12-count federal lawsuit filed last week that a white Lynwood police officer concocted a bogus story about him urinating on the side of Glenwood Dyer Road as a pretext to harass him despite his having committed no crime or unlawful act.
“The only thing Mr. Mosley did ‘wrong’ that day was to have the misfortune of encountering Defendant Lynwood Police Officer Luke Tambrini,” the suit asserts.
Tambrini could not be reached for comment.
Mayor Eugene Williams said through a village spokesman that he was “deeply disappointed” with the situation, but did not weigh in on the merits of Mosley’s claims or his officers’ actions.
The May 17, 2019, incident, which was recorded by police body worn camera, occurred on the side of Glenwood Dyer Road at Torrence Avenue after Tambrini pulled up behind Mosley’s truck, which was parked on the side of the road.
Mosley’s attorney Victor Henderson said his client had stopped his truck on the side of the road so he could get out to organize its contents and confirm he had what he needed for his trip to an unspecified destination.
Tambrini told Mosley he wasn’t allowed to park on the side of the road or to urinate in public and asked for his identification, the video shows.
After Mosley denied that he’d urinated in public, Tambrini conducted what the suit calls a “sham field investigation” during which Mosley was subjected to “a willful and wanton display of outrageously inhuman cruelty.”
Tambrini first asked Mosley to take his finger and touch a “little puddle of water” beside his car that he claimed was urine, the video shows. After Mosley obliged, Tambrini replied, “Now lick it.”
“Who’s gonna lick dirt?” Mosley replied, visibly upset. “You think ’cause I’m black I’m gonna sit here and touch some dirt, then lick it?”
Mosley then requested that the officer call a supervisor to the scene because he had a problem with how he was being treated.
When Tambrini told Mosley he was going to write him tickets for parking illegally and urinating in public, Mosley declined to provide him his name and information and repeatedly asked that a supervisor be dispatched to the scene, according to the video.
Eventually, Tambrini said he was going to have to arrest Mosley for obstructing identification and “needlessly escalated the situation by drawing, pointing, and shooting a Taser” at Mosley, according to the suit.
The video shows Mosley stumbling as he’s being stunned, repeatedly asking for a supervisor and saying he hadn’t done anything wrong. The officer can be heard commanding his K-9, which had been waiting inside his vehicle, to attack Mosley.
“Please don’t have that dog bite me,” Mosley can be heard saying, as the dog attacks him and he’s taken to the ground.
Mosley was hospitalized with bites to his left arm and shoulder that punctured the skin and continues to suffer physical and emotional trauma from the attack, according to the suit.
He was subsequently charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, resisting a peace officer and obstructing a peace officer, among other things, the suit claims.
The aggravated unlawful use of a weapon case, which the suit claims stems from a lawfully owned handgun found in Mosley’s truck, remains pending, according to court records. His attorney said the other charges were also still pending.
Mosley’s suit accuses Tambrini of excessive force, false arrest and battery, among other things, and charges another officer who arrived later with failing to intervene.
The father of three said in a statement this week that he was still in shock about what happened last May, but wanted to speak out “for the benefit of law-abiding citizens across this country.”
“The video of the incident says it all,” Mosley said. “I did not break any laws.”
He was, however, federally indicted on theft of government property charges shortly after his arrest in Lynwood, records show.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general, Mosley had failed to turn over government-issued equipment, including his agency credentials, after being terminated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2015 “due to his inability to perform the duties of his position.”
When he was arrested in Lynwood last May, Mosley used those credentials to falsely identify himself as a law enforcement officer, according a statement released by the Department of Transportation’s inspector general.
The federal charges against Mosley were dismissed in January after he successfully completed a 30-day pretrial diversion agreement that required he pay $1,000 restitution to the Department of Transportation and abide by a number of other conditions, records show.
Mosley’s attorney declined to discuss the details of his client’s separation from the federal government and said Wednesday that, despite the inspector general’s assertions to the contrary, his client was a federal law enforcement officer at the time of his arrest in Lynwood last May.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment.