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Targeted Arrest and Prosecution at Issue in Civil Rights Case

This blog is normally devoted to family law. This week, however, it is important to provide an update on a significant case our firm is handling involving claims for civil rights violations, false arrest and malicious prosecution.

The case involves a traffic stop that turned into what attorney Jay Schwartz describes as an "abuse of government power." The arrest and subsequent prosecution were an abuse of power, Schwartz believes, because they falsely targeted a specific individual for unfounded reasons.

The traffic stop in question occurred in 2009. Jeffrey Schroder, a former assistant attorney for the city of Warren, was arrested by two Warren officers, Stephen Colegio and Dwight Booms, on February 13, 2009 on suspicion of drunk driving.

An expert witnesses later testified that there were numerous improper procedures in this arrest. For example, an independent blood test on the night of the arrest showed that Mr. Schroder's blood alcohol content was below the legal limit.

Although the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office chose to press charges, it took a jury only 15 minutes to acquit Jeffrey Schroder in September 2009.

Attorney Jay Schwartz told the Detroit Free Press this week that, in his view, there was a "witch-hunt" that targeted his client. The reason for the targeting was apparently that Warren Mayor James Fouts thought that Jeffrey Schroder was critical of his administration.

Mr. Schroder denies that he made remarks critical of the mayor or that he was involved with a website that disparaged the mayor.

At the time Jeffrey Schroder was arrested, Kelly Colegio, the wife of one of the officers who arrested him, was an assistant to Mayor Fouts.

Source: "Ex-city lawyer suing Warren, 2 officers over 2009 drunken-driving arrest," Peggy Walsh-Sarnecki, Detroit Free Press, 3-19-12

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