Federal trial to open in civil case against Anne Arundel police

Three years after an Arnold man was shot in his home during a scuffle with Anne Arundel County police, the trial of his lawsuit claiming officers overreacted and violated his rights is scheduled to begin Tuesday afternoon.

Michael A. Housley, and his wife, Leah, claim that a team of officers used excessive force when they came to his home to return his wife to a hospital for an evaluation.

The county and police have denied wrongdoing.

Housley, 54, sued after he was fined $500 by Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Philip T. Caroom for hindering police by barring them from entering the family's home. He was acquitted of the more serious charges of assaulting police, who kicked in the glass door of the couple's home in a move to retrieve Leah Housley.

The civil lawsuit, filed two years ago, repeated much of the defense from the criminal case.

In the criminal trial, police maintained Michael Housley was shot after pepper spray and two jolts with a Taser failed to subdue him, and he raised a chair against an officer. The defense countered that he was cowering behind the chair.

The trial is expected to continue through the week.


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