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City of Alameda Releases Mims Brothers Excessive Force Claim Documents

Today, after three requests, the City of Alameda provided copies of claims filed by brothers Elijah and Michael Mims, asserting that Alameda police used excessive force in an arrest. Details of the claim are now available. The event reaches back to 2009.

According to the claims, Michael Mims lives in Oakland, California, and Elijah Mims lives in Maricopa, Arizona. The complaint opens, “On or about November 24, 2009, claimant Michael Alan Mims was driving a passenger vehicle in Alameda, California. Claimant Elijah Mims III was a passenger in the vehicle driven by his brother, Michael Alan Mims. The claimants are African American males.”

The brothers say that Alameda police stopped them near Washington Park and ordered them both to exit their vehicle at gunpoint. Both brothers assert that they had not committed any crimes and there was no reasonable or probable cause to believe they had.

Michael Mims was ordered to kneel on the ground, despite having recently undergone knee surgery and wearing a knee brace, which he says he reported to the officers. Alameda Police Officer Frank Peterson, Mims alleges, then “handcuffed him in an unreasonably tight manner, causing injuries and damages” to Mims’ wrists and hands. Either Peterson or a second officer subsequently pulled Mims “to his feet by the handcuffs when he was unable to stand up on his own due to his pre-existing knee injury and because he was unable to use his hands, which were handcuffed behind his back.”

Mims claims that he complained to police about the pain in his hands and wrists from the handcuffs, but his claims were ignored and he was “detained in an Alameda police vehicle for an unreasonable, unduly lengthy period of time.”

According to the claims, Elijah Mims is a Vietnam veteran who suffers from a heart condition and wears a pacemaker, and “suffers from obvious scarring and deformities to his hands and wrists due to a gasoline explosion” while serving in Vietnam.

The brothers assert that Elijah too was handled roughly and handcuffed too tightly, and that police ignored his complaints and concerns that his pacemaker may have been disconnected during the handcuffing procedure.

Both men were finally released, and they say that, “no evidence of any criminal activity whatsoever was discovered [in their vehicle] and there were no outstanding warrants for their arrest.” No charges were filed, and Elijah Mims was taken by ambulance to Alameda Hospital after the incident.

Michael Mims believes that the handcuffs caused nerve damage in his right hand, for which he underwent surgery.

Both men charge that Alameda police were motivated by racial animus towards them, as they are African American. Both claim damages in excess of $25,000.

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