Taylorsville Man Sues Police Department After Alleged Retaliation
TAYLORSVILLE, Utah – A man is suing Unified Police Department after he was pulled over for U-turn he said he didn’t make — and charged with the crime twice.
Charges were dropped both times, but Lopeti Misinale said he thinks the officer was out for revenge.
“Mostly officers don’t lie,” said Misinale’s lawyer Bob Sykes. “They tell the truth, but this one lied and he lied twice.”
In August 2016, Misinale was driving his roommate to the airport when he got pulled over for an alleged U-turn in Taylorsville.
The lawsuit claims officer Kevin Spencer slammed Misinale’s windshield, broke his mirror, and handcuffed him.
“It was shocking when he pulled me out of the car,” he said. “I mean I rolled my window down, and he opened my door and pulled me out.”
According to a police report, Spencer said the car hit him.
Misinale and his passenger said no citations were written that day, but Misinale did make a complaint to Unified Police the next day.
“(He) makes a complaint orally to the sergeant,” Sykes said. “The sergeant tells him, ‘Yeah, the officer has called in and said he lost his cool.'”
Three months later, Misinale learned he was charged with failing to yield to a signal stop and attempting to flee from an officer.
“I was kind of freaked out because it’s a felony,” Misinale said. “You can go to prison for that.”
“I assume when he found out there had been a complaint against him and a $1,000 mirror had been damaged by his irresponsible actions, he decided to file charges,” Sykes said about Spencer. “That’s the only way we can explain this.”
Those charges were dismissed last year.
This year, Misinale was charged again with misdemeanors for the same incident.
“Months pass and, by darn, officer Spencer did it again,” Sykes said.
The misdemeanors were also dismissed.
“I’m wasting my time and money for false charges,” Misinale said. “Who has time and money to do that?”
Misinale said he wants the officer to face the music and ensure this doesn’t happen to someone else.
“Every time I see a police officer behind me I get anxious, and that never used to be the case,” he said. “I’ve got friends who are police officers, I hang out with them, but it’s different now I get anxious.”
A spokesperson with Unified Police declined to comment on the case.