Representative Police Cases


  • Unlawful Arrest

The Atlanta Eagle Raid Cases (Calhoun v. Pennington; Burkes v. Reed; Doe v. Reed).  Lead counsel in a series of cases against the City of Atlanta and individual police officers for the unlawful raid of the Atlanta Eagle gay bar in September, 2009, during which all patrons of the bar were detained and searched without any suspicion of criminal activity.  Obtained settlements which included significant court-ordered procedural reforms of the Atlanta Police Department and $1,475,000 in damages for the 46 plaintiffs.  The plaintiffs allegations of wrongdoing were confirmed by an independent court-ordered investigation that also determined that numerous Atlanta police officers lied and destroyed evidence regarding the raid.  The report cost the City of Atlanta an additional $1.2 million dollars.  (Co-counsel with Gerry Weber and the Southern Center for Human Rights; Greg Nevins and Beth Littrell of Lambda Legal; and Hollie Manheimer.)

Toliver v. Reed.  Represented persons unlawfully detained and searched in the raid of “Ruby’s Sanabella Restaurant & Lounge” in May, 2010, during which officers of the Atlanta Police Department broke down the door of a restaurant without a warrant and detained and searched all persons inside the restaurant without suspicion of criminal activity.   Obtained $144,000 in damages for the plaintiffs.

Hereford v. Reed.   Represented a man who was handcuffed and transported to a police station for questioning by an Atlanta police officer without reasonable suspicion or probable cause.  Obtained a $50,000 financial settlement and the APD reversed its original Internal Affairs decision which had supported the actions of the officer.

Claim of Shequita Walker.  Represented a disabled woman who was arrested without probable cause for failing to move from where she was lawfully sitting, and who was injured by the arresting officer.  Obtained $90,000 in damages.  (Co-counsel with Tiffany Williams.)

Kautz v. City of Atlanta.  Represented a member of Copwatch whose iPhone was unlawfully confiscated by an Atlanta police officer after the client video-recorded a police raid.  Obtained a settlement which included $40,000 damages and an amendment to the APD Standard Operating Policy prohibiting police officers from interfering with the public’s right to make video, audio, or photographic recordings of police activity.  (Co-counsel with Gerry Weber.)

Anderson v. City of Atlanta.  Represented a woman who was arrested, and had her cell-phone confiscated and her photos deleted, after photographing officers beating a handcuffed suspect.  Obtained a settlement which included $50,000 damages and a court order prohibiting officers from deleting or destroying photo, video, or audio recordings of police activity, and requiring the APD to fire any officer who interferes with the public’s right to record police activity or who deletes or destroys any such recording.   (Co-counsel with Gerry Weber and Albert Wan.)

  • Unlawful Public Strip Searches by Police

Venegas and Kidd v. City of Atlanta.  Represented a driver and passenger who were strip searched by APD officers on a public street after a traffic stop.   Obtained $200,000 in damages.  (Co-counsel with Mark Bullman.)

Jason Walker et. al v. Reed.  Represented several young men who were strip searched by APD officers in public.  Obtained $470,000 in damages for the five plaintiffs and court-ordered revisions to the APD Standard Operating Procedure prohibiting officers from conducting strip and body cavity searches in public.  (Co-counsel with Mark Bullman.)

Claim of Olajuwan Wilson.  Represented a 17-year old who had his genitals touched and was beaten by Atlanta police officers. Obtained $95,000 in damages. (Co-counsel with Mark Bullman.)

  • Warrantless Entry into Home by Police

Patterson v. City of Atlanta and Elliott.  Successfully represented a family whose rented home was entered without a warrant by an Atlanta police officer at the request of a landlord who wanted to inspect the residence.  Obtained $12,000 in damages and an official apology for the officer’s unlawful conduct.