Excessive force lawsuit vs a CPA officer is dismissed
The U.S. District Court for the NMI has thrown out the excessive force lawsuit filed against a Commonwealth Ports Authority enforcement officer.
Pursuant to the request of plaintiff Zhang Shanguo, District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona dismissed with prejudice the excessive force complaint he had filed against CPA enforcement officer Jason Cruz.
In her order last Friday, Manglona noted that when the case was heard last Dec. 1, Zhang informed the court that he wants to dismiss his claim against Cruz.
After explaining to Zhang that dismissal with prejudice would prevent him from filing a lawsuit against Cruz on the same grounds, the judge granted the plaintiff’s request and dismissed the claim against Cruz with prejudice.
However, she allowed Zhang to amend his complaint to plead additional facts regarding the previously dismissed claims against other individuals. But Zhang stated that he did not have additional facts or evidence to provide.
Meanwhile, in a statement from Cruz’s lawyer, Robert T. Torres, he said that CPA respects Zhang’s right to freedom of expression and believes that he recognized that his actions were criminal and unacceptable in any free society.
“We stand by the video evidence and facts that on June 15, 2021, when directed to use a face mask, Zhang proceeded to violently strike the Ports Police Office window with a rock. Officer Cruz, then on duty, used reasonable force to subdue and then arrest Zhang. CPA officers and personnel are trained not only as to the proper use of force but to be vigilant in ensuring the safety of the airport and seaport patrons. We appreciate the court’s decision in dismissing the case with prejudice,” he said.
According to court documents, Zhang alleged that in June 2021, he was arrested in several instances at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport by police officers stationed there.
Specifically, on June 4, 2021, he said he was arrested by officers Timothy Cruz and Frank Indalecio. Then on June 10, 2021, he was arrested by Stevie Cabrera and Timothy Cruz. On June 14, 2021, he was arrested by Stevie A. Cabrera. According to Zhang, for each of these arrests, he did not commit any offense, but the officers arrested him to harass him and deprive him of his rights. After each arrest, he was placed in prison for a short period of time and released without being charged.
On June 15, 2021, Zhang threw a rock at a window at the Saipan airport to protest his mistreatment and then presented himself to be arrested.
Zhang said Cruz used force and violently pulled him to the ground even though Zhang was not resisting, resulting in physical injuries to Zhang.
While in prison, Zhang alleged that he was mistreated, assaulted twice, and did not receive the medical treatment that he needed, including for a fever above 40 degrees Celsius.