Bodycam footage of ex-Bellingham police officer's alleged assault

A Bellingham man has sued the city and former Bellingham Police officer Brooks Owen Laughlin alleging Laughlin used excessive force during an arrest and that the department has a policy of tolerating violent officers.

Joshua Travis Smith, 23, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Seattle on Dec. 18, arguing that his civil rights were violated, that he suffered severe physical and emotional injuries and remains traumatized by Laughlin’s actions while trying to arrest him.

In the lawsuit, Smith alleges that Laughlin, 33, used excessive force and assaulted him, that he was wrongfully arrested and maliciously prosecuted, that the Bellingham Police Department negligently kept Laughlin on staff and that the department has a policy of failing to supervise, discipline and control its officers, according to court records.

“The City of Bellingham maintained a policy and practice of tolerating and covering up the violent and illegal activities of its police officers,” the lawsuit states. “Officer Laughlin, now a convicted felon, had a long history of domestic abuse and violence against citizens, known to the Defendant. Yet the Bellingham Police Department negligently retained Laughlin and others who used excessive force.”

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By: ThisIsButter (28452.90)

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