VANCOUVER, Wash. — A 27-year-old Vancouver man is suing the city and two local police officers for what he says was illegal entry into his home and racial discrimination.
Jabo Johnigan, a Black computer software engineer with no criminal record, is suing the city and two white officers for $1 million in damages, The Columbian reports.
Attorney Angus Lee wrote in the lawsuit that Vancouver police Officers Christopher Bohatch and Scotland Hammond violated Johnigan’s civil rights by “barging into his home at night without a warrant or any other lawful authority, and for then searching his home, seizing him, and interrogating him.”
The lawsuit claims the officers’ decision to search Johnigan’s residence and keep him there were motivated in part or in total by race.
The probable cause statement filed with the Clark County District Court case says the officers responded to Johnigan’s apartment in Vancouver on March 13, 2019. Israel Young — who according to the lawsuit was not in a relationship with Johnigan at the time, but who has a child with him, the police report noted — was upset with Johnigan, according to the affidavit.
Young threatened to turn off the TV, which Johnigan was using to play video games. She turned off the TV several times, and then Johnigan punched a hole in the television, according to the affidavit.
Police arrested Johnigan on suspicion of domestic violence-related, third-degree malicious mischief.
Johnigan claims he told the officers he had asked Young to leave his apartment. The officers are alleged to have asked Johnigan to step outside and speak, but he said he did not wish to, according to the lawsuit.
One of the officers then entered the apartment, without permission or a warrant, and interrogated Johnigan, according to the lawsuit.
Clark County Deputy Prosecutor Kenneth Wallace eventually filed and was granted a motion to dismiss the case, without prejudice, because the prosecution “cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Assistant City Attorney Daniel G. Lloyd said the officers acted consistent with the requirements of the Fourth Amendment and said they had permission from the 911 caller to enter to watch a video she had made of the incident.