Seat Pleasant police

Lawsuit Claims Seat Pleasant Cops Beat, Traumatized DC National Guardsman

One officer named in the lawsuit appears to have a history of bad behavior

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A D.C. National Guardsman has filed a lawsuit against the city of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, and two Seat Pleasant police officers whom he claims dragged him out of his car, beat him and shocked him with a stun gun.

Tayvon Eubanks, of D.C., was driving in Seat Pleasant the night of Nov. 29, 2017 when he noticed a vehicle behind him was following him, according to the lawsuit. He stopped and pulled over into a driveway at someone's home and the vehicle stopped behind him.

Two officers got out of the vehicle and ordered Eubanks to show them his hands, the lawsuit says. According to Eubanks' attorney, the officers stopped him for bad paper tags. Police said Eubanks was speeding.

"Let me see your hands! Get the f**k out of the car. Lay down," the officers can be heard yelling at Eubanks on body camera footage. The video shows the officers pointing their guns at him.

"Both of the officers were at his windows, one on each side, with their guns drawn.
They told him to get out of the vehicle before he had an opportunity to get out of the vehicle. He was pulled out of the vehicle and Officer Loving landed on top of him, Eubanks' attorney Samuel M. Shapiro said.

According to a police report obtained by News4, the arresting officers said Eubanks got out of the car in a fighting stance. But the body camera video appears to show he got out with his hands up.

The officers said in the report he tried to flee before they took him to the ground, but the video does not appear to show that.

Police don't mention in the report that their guns were drawn.

"Get on the ground! I will shoot you! I will shoot you!" an officer says in the body camera video.

After a struggle with officers, Eubanks appears to stand on his feet, and isn't handcuffed. When he starts to run away, officers use a stun gun on him.

He had no warrants, weapons or anything illegal on him or inside of his vehicle, according to the police report.

Eubanks was issued a slew of traffic citations, taken to a hospital and to jail and when he was released, "He wound up being taken immediately to Howard University hospital, where he was admitted as an in-patient to their psychiatric ward," Shapiro said.

His attorneys say Eubanks was traumatized.

One of the officers involved in Tayvon's case, Officer Marcellus Loving, he has a history of complaints ranging from unbecoming conduct to civil rights violations, according to sources from within the Seat Pleasant Police Department.

Loving was recently demoted from corporal to private first class, sources said. The police department would not disclose why he was demoted, citing Maryland law that protects officer's personnel records.

Body camera video obtained by News4 show some of Loving’s past interactions.

"I'm not touching your back pockets that's where your *ss is at. I don't want you saying I sexually harassed you," he says in body camera video of a drug stop.

In another video, he Facetimes a friend, showing a naked man under the influence.

"Look at this sh*t," he says.

"I believe that PFC Loving has attributes to the department and I think that's a fair characteristic of PFC Loving," Seat Pleasant Police Chief Devan Martin said when News4 asked if Loving was a good officer.

"Is there a context where it's appropriate for an officer to say 'I'll kill you, mother f'er, I'll shoot you' for a traffic stop for an unarmed person?" News4's Tracee Wilkins asked Martin.

"From my standpoint, I don't believe so," Martin said.

Martin said it would be inappropriate to view the videos News4 obtained as he may have to rule on final discipline for Officer Loving if he's investigated.

"At a certain point you have to say what is in the best interest of the government and best interest of the community, and when you are at that point, it's okay for leadership sometimes to help people be successful somewhere else," Martin said.

The traffic citations and charges against Eubanks were thrown out by a judge and his record was expunged, according to his attorneys.

Eubanks' attorneys say the incident forever changed his life. The civil suit is scheduled to head to trial at the end of July.

News4 requested an interview with Loving through the police chief. Loving has not responded to the request and now has an attorney, the chief said.

News4 is also awaiting a response from the city's attorney to the pending civil lawsuit.

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