The Outlaws Motorcycle Club, Inc. and fifteen individuals filed a $6 million lawsuit last Friday in the United States Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee against the City of Knoxville, Knox County, County Sheriff Jimmy J.J. Jones (pictured above,) Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owens IV and everybody who participated in a violent and malicious raid on a club party last New Year’s Eve.
What Tha Newz Reported
January 1st, the Knoxville News Sentinel “reported:”
“The Knox County Sheriff’s Office dropped a different kind of ball on the heads of a notorious motorcycle gang on New Year’s Eve, sending at least two of them to jail for allegedly threatening an undercover officer and stealing his vest last month.
“A SWAT team armed with concussion grenades and assault rifles raided the clubhouse of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club’s Knoxville chapter off Western Avenue, swiftly handcuffing more than a dozen leather-clad bikers and at least two women as they were celebrating with booze, sandwiches and vegetable plates, authorities said.
“‘These guys are a menace to society,’ said Knox County Sheriff Jimmy ‘J.J.’ Jones. ‘Everything they stand for is illegal.’”
“They’re involved in every illegal activity known to man. Prostitution, methamphetamine,” Jones then told local television station WVLT.
The raid culminated a 14 month “investigation” by a former bartender named Joseph Linger. Linger was hired to “infiltrate” and gain “intelligence” on the local Outlaws Chapter. Published reports state that Linger discovered that the Knoxville Outlaws are a criminal street gang with international ties and a proven propensity for “large-scale violence.”
What Really Happened
The victims of this raid have been complaining about it for five months. Last week they finally filed suit.
The lawsuit alleges the search warrants were executed in an “unconstitutional manner” and unreasonable force was used to carry out an unreasonable search and maliciously destroy property.
The suit also alleges that the defendants judge shopped for a jurist who be stupid enough to issue the warrants. The night of the raid, police “went to Judge Swann, a Knox County Civil Divorce Court Judge, to obtain judicial approval for the warrants. The defendants also asked Judge Swann to approve and issue Arrest Warrants…. The defendants knew that Judge Swann would grant and issue the aforementioned Search Warrants where other Judges, more experienced in the legal requests for the issuance of Search Warrants, would not issue such faulty Search Warrants.”
The suit continues:
“The Defendants knew that a lot of innocent people would be at the clubhouse at the time it was raided because the Defendants knew a New Years Eve Party was in progress.”
“Prior to the raid, the Defendants contacted the local television networks and newspaper media and invited them to come to the residence and clubhouse to video tape and report on the raid.”
“The Defendants conducted a dynamic raid, using concussion, flash grenades thrown into the midst of the party, without any knocking or first announcing their presence…(and) entered the residence and Club House with great physical force, injuring several Plaintiffs. The Plaintiffs were all forced to the ground with violence and threats and those that did not get to the ground quickly enough were kicked, stomped and slammed to the ground…. The attack officers wore Swat or camouflage clothing and had hoods over their faces so their identities could not be ascertained while using obscene and vulgar profanity towards the Plaintiffs. After the plaintiffs were all handcuffed and completely subdued, the Defendants continued to point assault weapons at the heads of the Plaintiffs and threaten to ‘blow their heads off’ if they moved or said anything.”
“The Defendants caused great and unnecessary damage to the residence during the search of the premises…. The Defendants broke furniture, destroyed windows and window frames and smashed in doors with a battering ram after they had already secured entry, when all they had to do was open the unlocked doors. The defendants took every item that had any Outlaw Club reference including even gravestone markers of Club members who had died. The Defendants took all items of value from the premises and the individual Plaintiffs such as flat screen TV sets, video equipment, cash money and jewelry.”
“The Defendants ate the party food belonging to the Plaintiffs, while the Plaintiffs were handcuffed and placed outside in the cold, wet weather. The Defendants allowed and encouraged the news media to come inside the residence and photograph the interior of the building and videotape a press conference held inside the residence.”
The suit goes on like this for ten pages. The Outlaws attorney is a man named Phillip Lomonaco. The suit demands a jury trial.
The case will probably not get that far but it will be interesting to see how local police spin this.