Woman suing Sylvania Twp. PD for alleged excessive force discusses lawsuit
Taylor can be heard repeatedly asking why she was being arrested in the dashcam video obtained by 13abc
Note: You can watch the full dash camera footage of the incident in the video below. Some viewers may find the video disturbing.
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Adrian, Michigan woman behind a $30 million lawsuit against the Sylvania Township Police Department and two of its officers is speaking out about the incident.
Attorneys for Caitlin Taylor allege Officers Michael Wyatt and John Tanner used excessive force against her during a traffic stop when she pulled into the wrong driveway while delivering food in June of 2022. Taylor told 13abc, as she turned around in the driveway, she noticed Officer Tanner behind her.
“As I noticed him, he opened up his door and he turned on his light and he stood up and kneeled behind his door with his gun and I was just very taken back by it and that’s when he started to shout to his demands and I just wanted to know what was going on because I was very confused why he was pointing a gun at me,” said Taylor.
Taylor can be heard repeatedly asking why she was being arrested in the dashcam video obtained by 13abc. Officer Tanner tackles her before she is put in handcuffs. Taylor says it wasn’t until the next morning when she was told she had been pulled over for expired license plate tags.
“I was in the back of the police car for a while and I still didn’t even know why and I kept asking him ‘why am I back here’ and all he could say to me is ‘for obstructing and resisting and when I asked him again ‘can you please tell me why you pulled me over?’ he said ‘you’ll have your day in court,’” said Taylor.
The complaint alleges one count of battery, one count of assault, one count of civil action for deprivation of rights, and one count of negligence.
“Why didn’t he approach her peacefully? Nothing about that was typical. I’ve actually been pulled over for expired tags before... and it was ‘hey how you doin’ did you know your tags are expired?” said Taylor’s husband, Max, “we shouldn’t have to be in fear for a minor traffic infraction to lead to an assault.”
According to Taylor’s lawyer, the charges against her were dropped. However, the impact of the incident has lingered on.
“Immediately Caitlin couldn’t go back to work after that and I mean we have kids and a family life so we had a set routine that was abolished by that situation,” said Max Taylor.
The Taylors told 13abc they did try to seek answers from the Sylvania Township Police Department directly, but were “not taken seriously.” Now, they’re looking for answers and to hold someone responsible.
“We just want people to be held accountable for their actions, especially when it harms people, and I just want to have an explanation why he did that to me, because I still don’t know why he treated me that way,” said Taylor.
According to legal filings, lawyers for Sylvania Township Police argue the lawsuit is not viable and that one entity cannot be sued without suing the whole city. 13abc has reached out to them for comment and is waiting for a response.
You can watch dash camera footage of the arrest in the video below. GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: Some viewers may find the video disturbing. Explicit language is also used.
Copyright 2023 WTVG. All rights reserved.