CADILLAC — The city of Cadillac has called allegations made against police officers "baseless and without merit."

A lawyer for the Donald Cubitt family recently announced that the family was filing suit in federal court against the Cadillac police department.

The family is alleging police officers used excessive force when they tackle a teenaged member of the family in March.

The city initially had no comment on the lawsuit, but on Thursday issued the following statement:

"On November 11, 2020, Donald W. Cubitt filed a civil lawsuit against the City of Cadillac Police Department and two of its officers alleging the unlawful use of force in March, 2020.  The incident arose from an emergency call to 911 involving domestic violence in progress and the City of Cadillac Police Department was immediately dispatched to the location. Officers located the suspect who had fled the scene when the police were called. An officer obtained a statement from the victim who stated she was placed in a headlock, could not breathe, and that her children were home and witnessed the physical assault. The victim added that she was thrown to the ground and spit on.

"When officers located the suspect they gave him lawful commands to stop, but he refused. The suspect continued to ignore verbal commands to stop and attempted to evade officers, one of whom had parked a fully marked patrol car in his path. While apprehending the suspect he was physically forced to the ground. To be clear, the officers did not use any weapons in the incident, only that force necessary to take the suspect into custody and only after the suspect failed to obey repeated verbal commands.

"The allegations in the lawsuit are baseless and without merit.  The officers' actions were both appropriate and lawful and the City will vigorously defend the Police Department and the actions of both officers, which were captured on body worn video cameras."

Federal court records indicate the police officers were served on Nov. 13 and the Cadillac Police Department was served on Nov. 12. The Cadillac Police Department's answer is due Nov. 4. The officers' responses are due the following day.

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