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Dubuque authorities sued over excessive force allegations

Screen shot of body camera footage showing the arrest of Tiffani Anderson in April 2018.
Screen shot of body camera footage showing the arrest of Tiffani Anderson in April 2018.(KCRG)
Published: Feb. 13, 2020 at 5:49 PM CST
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A traffic stop in Dubuque in April 2018 has ended in a lawsuit.

Tiffani Anderson, the plaintiff in the case, was pulled over for not wearing a seat-belt but she was eventually convicted of interference will official acts. She is suing two members of law enforcement along with the Dubuque Police Department and Dubuque County Sheriff's Office over how her arrest was handled.

Anderson's attorneys gave us a copy of the body camera video that shows what happened.

Woman alleges police brutality in Dubuque, Iowa

GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING - A woman who was arrested in Dubuque is alleging she was a victim of police brutality. This video shows what happened. I spoke with an expert witnesses on alleged police misconduct matters who says he thinks authorities acted professionally. What's your take? I'll have a full report tonight at 5:00PM on TV9.

Posted by Josh Scheinblum on Thursday, February 13, 2020

The video shows Dubuque police officer Ryan Scherrman stopping Anderson and then noticing her kids in the vehicle with her were also not buckled up properly. The conversation between Scherrman and Anderson takes a turn when Anderson begins discussing "racial profiling".

At one point, while Scherrman is writing the ticket, Anderson gets out of her car and asks if her kids can leave the scene. A shouting match between the two ensues that ends with officers tazing Anderson.

An internal investigation found Officer Sherrman acted "rude and unprofessional" but any disciplinary action was confidential. Records obtained by the I9 investigative team show nothing about the use of force.

We showed the footage to former police officer and FBI agent Charles Stephenson who says he thinks Anderson is the one who acted inappropriately by not following what he thinks were reasonable police instructions.

"They used the minimal amount of force necessary to affect the arrest they were making," said Stephenson.

Attorneys for the defense declined our request for an interview but in a statement said, "We are defending the claim and will continue to do so... After internal review both the Police Department and Sheriff's Office found the force reasonable."

Anderson's attorneys also declined our request for an interview.

The case is scheduled to go to trial next year.

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