Colon Family pursuing legal action against SPD
SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury Police Department could soon be facing a civil lawsuit in relation to the May 26 disorderly conduct arrest of Camren Colon.
On Monday the Colon family and their attorneys, Thomas Maronick Jr. and Shauna Lee made the announcement on the Wicomico County Circuit Court steps. They claim that the officer who arrested Colon restrained him by the neck.
“He was handcuffed, he was being led to a squad car and all of a sudden a neck restraint is used, it didn’t need to be used there was no excuse for using it,” said Maronick Jr.
Using a neck restrain is a violation of the Salisbury Police Department’s guidelines. However, on Friday, Chief Barbara Duncan said her officer did not use a neck restraint and therefore acted within department policy.
“We do see the officers left-hand slide up Mr. Colon’s chest and make contact with his throat for a brief moment. We also see the officer is still holding his note pad in his left hand while he is attempting to maintain and eventually regain control of Mr. Colon and we see the officer’s thumb make contact with Mr. Colon’s throat. At no time, at no time was my officer attempting to execute a neck restraint, a chokehold or restrict the airflow of Mr. Colon,” Duncan said on Facebook Live.
However, Maronick Jr. and Lee disagree with Duncan’s stance citing the handbook which simply reads “neck restraints are prohibited” under the “Weaponless Physical Force/Empty Hand Control” section of the “Use of Force” policy. They say their stance is, it doesn’t matter how long the officer’s hands were there, all that matters is that they were.
“I think you can’t accidentally put your hands on someone’s neck, you either do it or you don’t, it’s something that should have never been done,” Maronick Jr. said. “It’s never okay for 8 and 1/2 minutes in Minneapolis, it’s not okay for fewer minutes in Salisbury matter fact it even says in the manual that it’s not acceptable to use.”
Lee formerly worked for the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s office as a prosecutor and says she has great respect for law enforcement officers in the area. However, she says in this instance they need to admit when they’re wrong.
“We applaud law enforcement for the hard jobs that they do day in and day out. However what we need from our law enforcement brothers and sisters is to admit that when something is not right, something is not right,” Lee said.
47 ABC reached out to Chief Duncan for a comment about the possible lawsuit, but she declined.