The Idaho State Journal reports:
The two players, Nehemiah McFarlin and Atoatasi Fox, through their Orem, Utah-based attorney, Daniel Steele, filed a Civil Rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Utah Wednesday.
McFarlin and Fox are seeking at least $10,000 in damages, claiming they were detained, arrested and then threatened for more than 24 hours while in police custody in Utah’s Box Elder County after being accused of robbing a Malad bank in December 2016.
The article continues:
“Other than being ‘black,’ neither McFarlin nor Fox matched the description of the robbery participant,” Steele said in the suit.
The suit claims that not only were McFarlin and Fox nowhere near the Malad area when the bank was robbed, but the pair also offered alibi information, including their calls to AAA, that would demonstrate the pair could not have been involved in the robbery.
“Defendants disregarded the information and evidence that McFarlin and Fox offered, and arrested (them) without probable cause,” Steele said in the suit, adding that after the pair was incarcerated at the Box Elder County Jail in Brigham City, and “Throughout the ordeal, McFarlin and Fox were coerced, berated, threatened, and informed that they were going to prison for a very long time.”
McFarlin and Fox were denied any communication with family for several hours, according to the suit. Though McFarlin’s Camaro was seized, searched and inventoried at the scene of the pair’s arrest, no evidence of the robbery was found, further corroborating McFarlin and Fox’s information, the suit said. After spending a night in the Box Elder County Jail, McFarlin and Fox were released at approximately 6 p.m. the day after the robbery. In addition to both Oneida and Box Elder counties and their respective Sheriffs’ Offices, the suit lists 18 individual members of law enforcement in Idaho and Utah including Semrad and Oneida County Detective Patsy Sherman. “For hours, I didn’t know if they were dead or what was going on,” Nika Fox said. “I admire my son for the way he handled it. He had never been in trouble before, so I know that this was probably the most traumatic thing for him to have to endure.”
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