Attorneys for Uriyah Ajamu sued the Orlando Police Department in December, alleging six counts of police misconduct resulting from an Aug. 6, 1999, drug bust in which police allegedly dragged Ajamu from his house and smashed his face on the sidewalk [No place like home, July 27]. Ajamu was not arrested.
Ajamu's suit alleges that an OPD squad called the Duke Boys had no search warrant for his residence but caused injuries to his face, elbow, neck, back and knees in the afternoon raid. The suit, which accuses police of false arrest, negligence, and assault and battery, asks for unspecified punitive damages. "The sky's the limit," Ajamu says.
But Ajamu doesn't believe anything will change at OPD even if he does win his case. "It will be business as usual," he says. "But who cares what I believe."
Attorneys for OPD deny the department did anything wrong. In court filings, they say that law enforcement had probable cause to "take action" against Ajamu and that, in any case, Florida's laws give Orlando "sovereign immunity" from decisions made by police.