(Editor’s note: A subject in this story has a name similar to a candidate running for office in Diamondhead. It is not the same person.)
Two brothers have filed a $5.6 million federal lawsuit alleging Bay St. Louis police officers used excessive force, "choking, beating, punching" while arresting the men and taking them for medical attention.
The suit names seven officers, the police department, former interim chief Wes Mayley, the City of Bay St. Louis, Mayor Les Fillingame, the city's insurance company, as well as 10 unidentified officers.
The lawsuit accuses them of making false reports and conspiring to cover up the use of excessive force.
Current Bay St. Louis Police Chief Darren Freemen was not with the department when the alleged incident occurred. Freeman told WLOX News Now he cannot comment on pending litigation, but the department has not been served with the lawsuit.
Freeman said of the seven officers named in the lawsuit, all but one is still with the department.
The 40-page lawsuit filed by Thomas and Cody Koenenn alleges the abuse followed two encounters with police in the early morning hours of Sept. 30, 2016 outside a bar on Blaize Ave.
The suit claims the Koenenns were first confronted by an officer around 1 a.m. who accused them of giving beer to a minor. The second encounter with police, according to the lawsuit, came about two hours later when a bartender called 911 to report a fight outside.
The lawsuit alleges three people attacked the Koenenns after making homosexual advances to the brothers. Thomas was reportedly knocked unconscious, with bleeding cuts to his head and face, and Cody was left with a broken nose, bleeding head, and face injuries.
The suit details police placed the Koenenns under arrest for misdemeanor crimes of public drunk and public profanity. The suit alleges the officers first took the men to the Hancock County Jail but were turned away because of their injuries.
The Koenenns allege while taking them to Hancock Medical Center for treatment, the officers drove their "police vehicles in excess of 115 mph.”
The lawsuit claims an officer assaulted Thomas at Hancock Medical Center, and other officer present at the time failed to do anything to stop the assault.
The lawsuit alleges the officers lied about the incidents being captured on police body cameras.
The Koenenns each seek damages of $250,000 for pain and suffering, $250,000 for mental anguish, $250,000 for humiliation and denial of civil rights, $50,000 for future medical expenses, and $2,000,000 in punitive damages.