- Associated Press - Monday, August 29, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A federal jury has awarded $285,000 to a couple who claimed officers in the West Valley Police Department’s drug unit violated their civil rights and used excessive force against them.

The allegations against then-Lt. John Coyle and Det. Sean McCarthy stemmed from a 2012 search of Brandy and Terry Christiansen’s home. The jury determined Friday that the officers violated the couple’s right to be free from unreasonable seizure, but didn’t find the officers used excessive force.

West Valley City Attorney Eric Bunderson says the city is disappointed with the jury’s decision and plans to appeal.

The search of the Christiansen’s home came during the same year that West Valley’s drug unit was disbanded following reports of inappropriate behavior by officers and a fatal shooting of a 21-year-old woman by a detective, who was later cleared of manslaughter charges.

The unit was re-established in 2015.


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