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Two lawsuits filed against Richmond Police officers for pepper spray incidents

Posted at 6:33 PM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 21:09:57-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Two lawsuits have been filed against the city of Richmond and multiple Richmond Police officers by plaintiffs claiming they were illegally pepper-sprayed in two successive incidents caught on camera on May 31.

In one lawsuit, Destiny Sparks claims that she was pepper-sprayed for no reason as she and her friend were walking home.

According to the lawsuit, Sparks was walking down W. Broad St. when officers told her to "go home," and she replied, "no, you go home."

That's when she said she was pepper-sprayed.

The complaint alleges that there was no curfew in place at the time.

In another lawsuit, Mikhail Smith, claims that officers used unwarranted, excessive, and unreasonable force against him. In a video recorded by Smith, officers appear to shoot pepper spray into his apartment window.

According to the lawsuit, Smith saw the officers "spray pepper spray without justification" at Sparks and her friend began yelling from his apartment window in objection.

"Immediately thereafter, Officer One sprayed pepper spray or some other chemical irritant at Smith while Smith was in his home videoing the entire incident. The pepper spray injured Smith, entered Smith’s home, and coated his home and possessions," the lawsuit states.

Smith's lawsuit files multiple charges against the police officer and the city, including numerous civil rights violations as well as assault and battery, and trespassing.

The Richmond Police Department was asked about both of the cases and said that they do not comment on pending litigation.