Federal Lawsuit Against Orlando Officer Reaches Settlement

The federal lawsuit against the city of Orlando concerning a man who accused an unnamed police officer of excessive force and sexual assault ended in settlement after a trial in the matter had ended in a hung jury this past January.

Cassandra Lafser, a spokesperson for the city the settlement was based on financial considerations and not the guilt or innocence of the officer. The plaintiff accused the officer of putting his hand down the back of his pants while searching for drugs. The officer was not charged with a crime or misconduct.

Clinton Fair, a passenger in a car pulled over by Officer Jonathan Mills in August 2014 testified to the assault but Mills has consistently denied the allegations. Fair contested that the officer used “non-consensual, harmful … physical contact” while performing a drug search.

Fair, of Apopka,FL said in the lawsuit that the incident caused bodily injury and a “loss of dignity.”

Because Orlando Police Internal Affairs could not verify the actions, it offered no reprimand in the matter.

Officer Mills is still facing another ongoing federal lawsuit alleging excessive force.

In that case, Louis Fedrick was pulled over in October 2013 for driving on a suspended license. Sixty-one year old Fedrick claims that when he was pulled over at a traffic stop he was tasered by Mills. Fredrick says this happened in spite of the fact he put his hands up in a non-threatening manner.

Mills’ wrote in a sworn affidavit that Fedrick resisted arrest and tried to get away. According to the lawsuit, “Officer Mills then slammed Mr. Fedrick to the pavement and while arresting/handcuffing Mr. Fedrick, twisted and yanked on Mr Fedrick’s arms in a forceful manner.”

Those charges of resisting an officer were dismissed.

Officer Mills has been the focus of multiple citizen complaints with 15 filed from 2012 to 2015. He has not received discipline for any of those complaints though he has been orally reprimanded for making racist remarks about bystanders at a traffic stop.

He has been reassigned to patrol from the department’s TAC team, a unit that specializes in the arrest of violent offenders.