The City of Dubuque and Dubuque County, along with two employees, are asking that a woman’s excessive force lawsuit be dismissed.
Tiffani L. Anderson, 45, recently filed the lawsuit against the city, county, Dubuque police officer Ryan Scherrman and Dubuque County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Robert Freund.
Anderson seeks damages for injuries — both mental and physical — sustained during the April 2018 traffic stop near her home. She alleges two counts of excessive force and violations of both the U.S. and Iowa constitutions.
Online court documents state the traffic stop was due to a seat belt violation.
Scherrman and Anderson sparred verbally, as Anderson believed she was being profiled due to her race, according to her lawsuit. Eventually, Scherrman told her that she was going to be arrested for interference with official acts.
Anderson said that within two seconds of being told to exit her vehicle, “Scherrman began using physical force against her to force her from the car.” Freund, who had arrived to assist, then fired his stun gun at Anderson “before she had a chance to comply with Scherrman’s command.”
But criminal court documents said Anderson refused “multiple commands” to put her hands behind her back. Court documents also allege that Freund sustained an “abrasion” to his hand while taking Anderson into custody.
Anderson was charged with interference with official acts causing bodily injury and interference with official acts. She was acquitted of the former charge by a jury, though she was found guilty on the latter charge.
Anderson claims that both Scherrman and Freund used excessive force and that the city and county failed to train or supervise the officers properly. As a result, she suffered injuries to her “arms, legs, back, abdomen, forearms and elbows,” the petition states.
In the response to Anderson’s lawsuit, the city, county, Scherrman and Freund deny most of Anderson’s claims. The filing states that Anderson “repeatedly used foul language and said she was suing everyone during this stop.”
The response asks that the lawsuit be dismissed at Anderson’s cost.