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Mesa police face another excessive use-of-force court filing

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PHOENIX – A young man who said a Mesa police officer used unnecessary force during a DUI arrest has filed a notice of claim for more than $200,000, according to reports.

Brandon Hicks, 23, said the officer pushed him to the ground in May, causing him to break an ankle.

Police spokesman Nik Rasheta said in an email to KTAR News 92.3 FM that Hicks “complained of ankle pain at the scene and was asked more than once if he wanted medical attention, he declined each time.”

Rasheta also said Hicks gave police a fake name and ignored their instructions. It was all captured on a body camera, he said.

ABC15 reported Tuesday night that Hicks had been found sitting next to his car near Extension and Baseline Road. Police had been nearby looking into a hit-and-run accident.

The TV station also said Hicks had a blood-alcohol content of .229.

The department had only recently learned of the circumstances, Rasheta said, and added an investigation was underway.

Hicks’ attorney, Joel Robbins of Phoenix, also helped represent a man Mesa officers were cleared of using excessive force against earlier this year.

Eight officers were disciplined in June after surveillance footage showed them surrounding an unarmed Robert Johnson at an apartment complex, then punching and knocking him down.

A Scottsdale Police Department’s independent review in August found the Mesa officers “justified” in their actions the night of May 23.

Johnson filed a claim for $1.974 million for damages against Mesa and the officers.

The FBI has been investigating the department’s use-of-force incidents.

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