Former football player sues Pullman PD

Officers Emerson, Gordon both named individually in lawsuit

IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

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A former WSU football player has sued the Pullman Police Department, the City of Pullman and two individual officers for the use of excessive force and false reporting stemming from a February 2017 incident at Bob’s Corner Market.

Treshon Broughton claims his Fourth and 14th Amendment rights, as well as multiple sections of the Washington State Constitution, were violated after he was injured during an arrest he states was unlawful, according to the filing.

Broughton played two seasons as a cornerback for the Cougars after transferring from Fullerton Junior College in Fullerton, California, according to the WSU Cougars roster. He was finishing his bachelor’s degree at the time of the incident, according to the filing.

Officers Shane Emerson and Alex Gordon were named individually in the civil lawsuit filed on Oct. 30, according to court documents. Broughton claims an employee of the store called police but assured dispatch there was no disturbance.

The lawsuit then goes on to claim both officers made contact with Broughton inside the store and that Emerson demanded he provide identification despite being told there were no issues, according to court documents.

Broughton claims he did not have enough time to comply with the demand for identification, as Emerson grabbed his arm “and started to physically assault Broughton and forced Broughton to the ground,” according to the records.

After his driver’s license fell from his pocket and was picked up by another officer, Broughton’s lawyer states in the lawsuit that Emerson and Gordon began striking Broughton while on the ground, including hits to the head, according to the court filing. It was at this point that Broughton claims Gordon tased him.

Immediately following the use of the taser, the lawsuit alleges that Emerson put his knee on top of Broughton’s neck to handcuff him while Gordon also held him down. The lawsuit also states the arrest was unlawful due to Broughton not having committed a crime and without probable cause.

Broughton then faced charges of obstructing law enforcement officers and resisting arrest. These charges were dropped, but Broughton claims the charges “were unfounded, lacked probable cause, were without factual support and based upon a deliberate misrepresentation of the factual events,” according to the records.

The lawsuit contains a total of nine official claims, including unlawful seizure, false arrest, excessive use of force, malicious prosecution and defamation. Broughton is seeking an unnamed amount of punitive damages for each of the charges, as well as attorney fees. He also demanded a trial by jury for the suit, according to court records.