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DMPD Faces Second Lawsuit in Less Than Two Weeks

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DES MOINES, Iowa--  The Des Moines Police Department is facing its second lawsuit in less than two weeks.

Last month, two men filed a suit claiming two Des Moines Police officers racially profiled them during a routine traffic stop.

Now, another lawsuit is expected to be filed Wednesday.

The lawsuit claims three Des Moines officers violated Daniel Robbins' First Amendment rights.

“I was not back there looking for cars that were parked illegally,” says Daniel Robbins, the plaintiff in the case.  But Robbins says that's what he found while taking pictures of the city's landscape back in May near police headquarters.

Robbins says when he noticed a Des Moines Police Department employee appearing to park illegally, he began to record it.  The video he captured shows the employee getting into her private white SUV and driving away.  Above her car is a no parking sign.

“If any citizen has a complaint about us doing something that appears to be illegal or improper the best way to handle that is to contact us,” Sergeant Paul Parizek with Des Moines Police said.

But Robbins says he didn't have that opportunity.

While taking the video, he was approached by Detective Brad Youngblut.  Robbins claims Youngblut along with Lieutenant Joseph Leo and Sergeant  Christopher Curtis detained him without cause.

“You’re suspicious and you’re loitering. We have had cars stolen out of this lot, you’re acting suspicious,” Lt. Joseph Leo says in the video.

Robbins said the situation quickly escalated.

“I was detained, and they demanded to see my ID.  They forced my hand over my head and they started groping me and they took things out of my pocket”, Robbins said.

Sergeant Paul Parizek couldn’t comment on the officers' actions, but he says security is the department's number one concern.

“Videotaping our officers getting in and out of their personal cars; that raises a simple question of ‘What are you doing?’,” Sergeant Parizek said.

Police say in the past private vehicles have been stolen from their parking lot.

Robbins was not charged with anything.  He is seeking monetary damages.

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