BELLINGHAM — A Bellingham man has sued the city and former Bellingham Police officer Brooks Laughlin claiming Laughlin used excessive force during an arrest and that the department has a policy of tolerating violent officers.
The Bellingham Herald reported that Joshua Travis Smith, 23, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Seattle in December.
The suit says 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 June 2017.
Bellingham Police Chief David Doll told the newspaper that the2017 incident was reviewed at that time, and the officers involved were found to be in compliance. He said he couldn’t comment further because of the pending lawsuit.
Laughlin was sentenced to eight years in prison Dec. 12 after he was found guilty of charges relating to a pattern of abuse against a woman.