KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Knoxville attorney Phil Lomonaco filed a civil rights lawsuit against Knox County Sheriff Jimmy J.J. Jones, Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen IV, the City of Knoxville and Knox County, in addition to several others involved in the Dec. 31, 2009 raid of a home where an Outlaw Motorcycle Club party was being held.
Read the lawsuit HERE.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of several Outlaw Motorcycle Club members, including Mark Lester and Kenneth Foster, who were charged with aggravated assualt and aggravated kidnapping after allegedly keeping an undercover deputy against his will and forcing him to give back is gang-issued shirt.
The KCSO undercover officer was recruited as a full member of the gang by Lester. In an affidavit for the search warrants, he said he observed the use of numerous drugs within the gang, including cocaine, oxycontin, hydrocodone and marijuana, as well as weapons such as semiautomatic pistols, Uzi automatic weapons and grenades.
"The suit arose from the unconstitutional manner in which the search warrants were executed, the unreasonable force of the search and handling of the plaintiffs that night, the unreasonable search and seizure of the Plaintiffs and the items taken that night, the unreasonable destruction of property belonging to the Plaintiffs, and the excessive and unconstitutional manner of the bonds set for the arrest of Plaintiffs Mark Lester and Kenneth Foster," the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit alleges that, during the search of the home at 205 Clifton Rd., deputies and police officers "broke furniture, destroyed windows and window frames and smashed in doors with a battering ram after they had already secured entry, when all they had to do was open the unlocked doors."
In the lawsuit, Lomonaco claims the law officers took all items of value from the premises, including TVs, cash and jewelry.
"The Defendants ate the party food belonging to the Plaintiffs, while the Plaintiffs were handcuffed and placed outside in the cold, wet weather," the lawsuit claims.
In the lawsuit, Lomonaco takes issue with the fact that officers allowed media inside the home to videotape the people taken into custody.
"The Defendant, Jimmy 'J.J.' Jones slandered the Plaintiffs by telling the news media, 'they're a menace to our society, everyone of them, they are all criminals, they've all got criminal records, this is all they have ever done,' " the lawsuit alleges.
Specifically, the lawsuit The KCSO undercover officer was recruited as a full member of the gang by Lester. In an affidavit for the search warrants, he said he observed the use of numerous drugs within the gang, including cocaine, oxycontin, hydrocodone and marijuana, as well as weapons such as semiautomatic pistols, Uzi automatic weapons and grenades.
The lawsuit is seeking up to a total of $6 million: a maximum of $3 million for compensatory damages and a maximum of $3 million for punitive damages, in addition to attorney fees.