Caitlin Taylor of Ohio has filed a $30 million lawsuit against the Sylvania Township Police Department and two of its officers for reportedly using excessive force. She alleged that on June 5, 2020, she was pulled over for expired license plate tags by Officers Michael Wyatt and John Tanner, who physically assaulted her.
Caitlin Taylor’s attorneys filed a complaint in the Northern Federal Court of Ohio, accusing the Sylvania Township Police Department of battery, assault, violation of the Constitution, and negligence, or a conscious disregard for rights.
Ohio woman was initially charged with obstruction of justice
Law&Crime reported that as per the lawsuit, on June 5, 2020, Caitlin Taylor was on a grocery delivery in Toledo, Ohio, when she got lost.
According to Law&Crime, Officer John Tanner spotted Caitlin in traffic and noticed that she had a Michigan license with expired tags. He then pursued her to a neighborhood where she pulled into an apartment complex driveway and sat for a while to locate her delivery destination.
“As I noticed him, he opened up his door and he turned on his light and he stood up and kneeled behind his door with his gun and I was just very taken aback by it and that’s when he started to shout to his demands and I just wanted to know what was going on because I was very confused why he was pointing a gun at me.”
As per the dashcam video obtained by 13ABC, Caitlin Taylor repeatedly questioned why she was being arrested while Officer Tanner tackled her before she was put in handcuffs.
Law&Crime reported that Caitlin Taylor claimed that the officers detained her for four hours without medical treatment for the injuries she sustained due to the assault. She was arrested and charged with obstruction and resisting arrest, which were later dropped after prosecutors saw dashcam footage of the incident.
Caitlin told 13ABC,
“I was in the back of the police car for a while and I still didn’t even know why and I kept asking him ‘why am I back here’ and all he could say to me is ‘for obstructing and resisting and when I asked him again ‘can you please tell me why you pulled me over?’ he said ‘you’ll have your day in court.’”
According to the report by Law&Crime, Caitlin Taylor also alleged that she was manhandled, placed in a chokehold, and slammed to the ground by the officers.
The confrontation left Caitlin Taylor traumatized
The lawsuit stated that the confrontation traumatized Caitlin and aggravated past trauma of verbal and physical abuse.
Taylor’s husband, Max Taylor, told 13ABC:
“Immediately Caitlin couldn’t go back to work after that and I mean we have kids and a family life so we had a set routine that was abolished by that situation.”
According to the report by Law&Crime, for multiple weeks following the traffic stop for expired tags in Ohio, Caitlin was too disturbed to get into a car to deliver groceries and ultimately left her grocery delivery job to begin a new one at lower pay.
Law&Order also reported that the lawsuit seeks damages for humiliation, physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Sylvania Township Police Chief Paul Long told WGTV he would not comment on pending litigation.
According to Law&Crime, on May 19, 2023, attorneys for Sylvania Township Police filed a motion in federal court to throw out the case. They debated that, as per Ohio law, the department cannot be prosecuted as a separate entity. The filed motion remains pending.