The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

October 3, 2012

Settlement reached in civil suit against state trooper

By Wendy Holdren
Register-Herald Reporter

— A settlement has been reached in a federal civil suit alleging a Summers County man was unlawfully seized and subjected to derogatory racial slurs by a state trooper.

The complaint was filed June 8 in the Southern West Virginia District Court and was dismissed Sept. 24 by U.S. District Judge Irene C. Berger after both sides mediated a settlement.

Jonluc A. McCrae, 19, who was 16 at the time of the alleged incident, claimed that Trooper Gregg Reed with the West Virginia State Police used unreasonable force in a situation in which no crime had been committed.

In the complaint, McCrae said he was walking home after a basketball game June 17, 2010. McCrae saw Reed across Third Avenue talking to a man and his son.

The father approached Reed after a physical altercation between Reed and the son and, according to the complaint, the father complied when Reed asked him to leave the scene.

The complaint says that McCrae was then approached by Reed and told “to get the **** out of here.” He offered no resistance and was courteous to the officers, replying “alright,” according to the complaint.

As he was leaving the scene, the complaint alleged that Reed grabbed McCrae by the neck from behind and threw him against wall, choking him.

McCrae alleged that Reed’s eyes were “bloodshot” and he “smelled of alcohol.”

The complaint continued, with McCrae alleging that Reed took him across the street, removed his gun and badge and placed them on the hood of his cruiser. McCrae said he then slammed him on the hood.

Reed allegedly threatened to break McCrae’s arms if he resisted while being handcuffed and if he lifted his chest off the cruiser, “he would ******* stomp him.”

He then asked McCrae if he had ever been arrested, to which he replied, “No.” Reed said, “Good,” and smacked him on the head four times, according to the suit.

McCrae was forced to stay handcuffed on the hood for approximately 45 minutes, where he claims to have spoken with multiple witnesses, including Hinton City Police officers.

The complaint said Reed commented to bystanders that McCrae did not do or say anything, but he “did not like the way (McCrae) looked at him.”

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

— E-mail: wholdren

@register-herald.com