From the March 2001 Idaho Observer:

Bereiter files civil action in Wash. superior court

Names as defendants cops and county for 1999 traffic stop beating

NEWPORT, Wash. -- On March 1, 2001, Morris Bereiter, 51, of Newport filed a civil complaint against Pend Oreille county sheriff's deputies Thad Schultz and Greg Rogan and the county that employs them for the roles each party played in the January 1, 1999 incident that resulted in the sober Bereiter being pepper sprayed, beaten and thrown in a drunk tank after a routine traffic stop (The Idaho Observer, July, 1999).

Since having his civil rights violated in such a manner, Bereiter has been attempting to find justice by working through the legal system. He has challenged the state's criminal charges of obstruction, failure to stop and disobeying an officer to a guilty verdict that is currently pending appeal.

Bereiter, a roofer and father of 10 children, two of whom witnessed the beating of their father, simply rolled through a rural stop sign on an icy road. Deputy Rogan pulled him over for the infraction. The pathologically safety conscious Bereiter, while driving slowly, waited until he found a straight and level spot to pull over.

According to Bereiter, Deputy Rogan was visibly agitated when they first met and pulled his gun, pepper sprayed the non combatant Bereiter and then started beating him up. Deputy Schultz arrived on the scene and also started beating Bereiter.

Rather than accept the beating and admit guilt for things he did not do, Bereiter has fought back. He has obtained competant legal counsel and has filed dozens of motions on his behalf.

And now he has filed a civil complaint that will force Rogan, Schultz and the county to justify its actions in a different court with a different set of rules.

“We cannot allow the police to do this to people. Somebody has to stand up to their abuses,” commented Bereiter.

A hearing date has yet to be scheduled. Bereiter has not specified the dollar amount of damages he is seeking.

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