Kansas City tow lot owner’s lawsuit says police killed his dog
The owner of tow lot has filed a lawsuit against the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, saying officers violated his civil rights and killed his dog while executing a search warrant on his property.
Allen “Jay” Bloodworth filed the 10-count lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Kansas City on Wednesday, accusing police of unlawful search and seizure and failure to supervise and intervene.
The lawsuit comes three months after Jackson County prosecutors announced they had dropped 31 forgery charges against Bloodworth. In doing so, prosecutors released an audio recording that allegedly captured Kansas City police union president Brad Lemon threatening Bloodworth if he did not release a car belonging to the union official’s relatives.
According to the 57-page lawsuit, police officers showed up at Bloodworth’s home on March 27, 2019 to execute a search warrant to locate a red 1995 Ford Ranger. The search warrant did not allow officers to enter the property without knocking and announcing themselves.
But officers made their way into the residence without doing so, said Ed Stump, an attorney for Bloodworth.
“Everybody went in there like gangbusters and you had this frenzy. It was like a big school of piranhas going in there, trying to take everything,” Stump said.
Officers threw Bloodworth on the ground and restrained him with zip ties. Bloodworth pleaded with the officers not to damage his property or kill his dog. Bloodworth said he would help officers in getting any paperwork they needed.
While clearing the property, Bloodworth’s dog allegedly walked into the residence from the back door into the kitchen. The dog then walked up to the officers. The dog did not respond to the officers’ verbal commands. The officers brandished their weapons and opened fire, killing the dog, according to the lawsuit.
Police officers allegedly damaged Bloodworth’s property, destroyed evidence, failed to complete reports for officers who discharged their weapons and did not catalog paperwork confiscated from the business, the lawsuit alleges.
Sgt. Jacob Becchina, a police spokesman said, “generally we do not comment on the details of pending civil litigation to ensure fairness for all sides.”
Three months after police executed the search warrant, Stump said his client received a phone call from Lemon. During the conversation, Lemon allegedly threatened Bloodworth with police action if he did not release a car for one of Lemon’s family members.
Prosecutors said Bloodworth had apparently towed the relative’s car and told Lemon that the car could only be released to the registered owner or someone designated by the owner.
Lemon’s family member was not the registered owner and provided no proof of the required designation. Lemon wanted the car released anyway.
But Bloodworth refused.
Lemon, who identified himself as a member of the Kansas City Police Department and police union president, made a reference about Bloodworth’s past criminal investigation and said, “it’s game on… we’ll start the same routine with you then,” according to prosecutors.
The criminal charges against Bloodworth were later dropped.
“This is what the police can do if they have an inkling, if they don’t like you, if they have something against you,” Stump said about the lawsuit. “We are saying that it’s not right.”
“They supposed to be protect and serve the public not hunt out and destroy,” he said.
Related stories from Kansas City Star