Resident sues Birmingham police alleging abuse
By Lisa Brody
Birmingham resident Brayton James Groth has filed a federal lawsuit seeking at least $75,000 against the city of Birmingham and five Birmingham police officers alleging they illegally entered his home and were abusive with him following a domestic violence call by his wife in July 2021.
According to the complaint, filed in United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan on June 7, Groth's attorney David Dworetsky of Fieger, Fieger, Kenney & Harrington, P. C., claims that on July 10, 2021, Birmingham police officers were dispatched to the Groth home in Birmingham due to an alleged domestic violence incidence that had taken place between Groth and his wife Kathleen.
When officers arrived, Kathleen was in her vehicle while Brayton was in the home. Kathleen alleged to one of the officers that she had been grabbed by her husband and forced out of her home. She said something like this “had never happened before, she had never been abused by him, and nothing had happened.”
Following further conversation, she informed the officer she wanted to go back into her home, but the officer would not permit that, per Groth's lawsuit, and he asked Kathleen for her key to permit police access to the house.
While Kathleen said she didn't want anyone in her house, police informed her “that was not an option,” and they wouldn't leave the scene until she gave them her key. She provided officers with her key.
After being unable to obtain access to the front door, police then went around to the back of the home and entered the house without announcing their presence as police, which Groth asserts in his lawsuit is a violation of his Fourth Amendment right to illegal search and seizure, and refused police entry, informing them they did not have a warrant to enter.
According to the lawsuit, the officers being sued, Nicholas Hill, Scott McIntyre, Raymond Faes, Anthony Paredes and Nicholas Krumm, “were all familiar with the plaintiff, and the defendant officers have previously stated that the plaintiff has demonstrated aggressive behavior and a dislike for law enforcement officers.”
Four officers entered the home, according to the complaint – Hill, McIntyre, Faes and Paredes – and allegedly pushed Groth backwards, slammed him into a counter, yelled at him to get on the ground and then threw him to the ground in his kitchen. They then allegedly tased him before handcuffing him and arresting him for resisting and obstructing arrest. Krumm spoke with the wife.
That charge was was dismissed on May 3, 2023 by Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Daniel O'Brien. However, court records indicate Groth is scheduled for a trial on a domestic abuse charge before O'Brian on October 3.
Groth alleges that due to the excessive force used by the Birmingham officers, he has suffered numerous physical and mental injuries, including chest injuries; back injuries; facial injuries; “horrific bruising and contusions to his body; possible head injury including PTSD; pain and suffering; mental anguish; emotional distress; fright and shock; humiliation and/or mortification; and economic loss,” among others. The lawsuit alleges the actions by the defendants were “willful, wanton, reckless, malicious, oppressive and/or done with a conscious disregard for the constitutional rights of the Plaintiff.”
“We feel it was a wrongful arrest and wrongful entry into the home,” said Groth's attorney David Dworetsky.
The lawsuit also alleges the city did not adequately train or supervise the officers.
He noted the city of Birmingham and the Birmingham Police Department had just been served with the lawsuit, and their answer and response is not yet due.
The case has been assigned to Judge Kimberly G. Altman in U.S. Federal Court. Groth has requested a trial by jury.