Pubdate: Thu, 13 Mar 2014
Source: Oakland Press, The (MI)
Copyright: 2014 The Oakland Press
Author: Dave Phillips
Bookmark: (Drug Raids)


PONTIAC - A 69-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit against Oakland 
County and its Sheriff's Office, accusing Narcotics Enforcement Team 
(NET) members of "violently handl(ing) and treat(ing)" her one year ago.

Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe called the lawsuit 
"frivolous" and said Haney's attorney "tried to blackmail us" before 
filing the suit.

Mary Ann Haney filed the suit - which also names the Birmingham 
Police Department, City of Birmingham and seven deputies and officers 
as defendants - last week in Oakland County Circuit Court. Her 
attorney is Michael Zavier. Haney went to visit her son, Bryant 
Wesley Haney, at his home in the 900 block of Smith Street in 
Birmingham on March 7, 2013. There, she encountered NET officers who 
were conducting a search warrant on the home after Haney "sold 
marijuana to a cooperating individual on two separate occasions," 
according to the Sheriff's Office.

"Upon being detained, (Haney) was violently handled and treated by 
defendants and inappropriately handcuffed, which included lifting 
(Haney) up, while continuously tightening the handcuffs," the lawsuit states.

"Defendants mocked (Haney), telling her to 'shut up or they would 
tighten the handcuffs,' and laughed at (Haney) while she screamed in 
pain, tightening the handcuffs twice more because of her screaming."

NET investigators seized 244.7 grams (about half a pound) of 
marijuana, along with packaging material, a digital scale and 
documents, from the home. Bryant Haney, now 30, was arrested and 
ultimately pleaded no contest to delivery or manufacture of 
marijuana. In January, he received a delayed sentence which will be 
imposed in December.

The lawsuit claims that Mary Haney's Fourth Amendment rights against 
unwarranted search and seizure were violated.

Haney suffered rotator cuff tears in both arms and requires 
continuing medical care and physical therapy for the injuries, the 
lawsuit states.

"I'm a little surprised this attorney filed this lawsuit because he 
knows all the facts of the case," McCabe said. "He knows that his 
client should have been arrested and lodged in the jail for 
obstruction, but the deputies basically felt sorry for her because 
her son was arrested. Her son was convicted. He's a drug dealer."

McCabe said Mary Haney was handcuffed at the scene "for her own 
safety because she was out of control."

"This is what happens when you try to be nice - a frivolous lawsuit 
filed by an attorney just trying to make a score."

Before the lawsuit was filed, Mary Haney's attorney contacted the NET 
team and "told them we should try to look at an alternative 
resolution to this so he doesn't have to file a lawsuit," McCabe 
said. "He tried to blackmail us is what he tried to do, and when his 
blackmail didn't work, he filed the lawsuit."

Zavier did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Birmingham Police Cmdr. Terry Kiernan said the procedure was a NET 
action and, while Birmingham officers were present, they were not involved.

Haney seeks a judgment in excess of $25,000. The case has been 
assigned to Oakland County Circuit Judge Martha Anderson.
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