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Dubuque Police and Sheriff’s Office sued for excessive force

DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWWL) – The Dubuque Police Department and Dubuque County Sheriff are currently being sued for a case involving excessive force by two of their officers.

The incident occurred on April 16, 2018. Tiffani Anderson filed the suit against Officers Ryan Scherrman and Robert Freund.

According to court documents, Anderson was driving home from a grocery store with several of her children and grandchildren when Officer Scherrman pulled her over. It is unclear as to why Anderson was pulled over.

During a brief exchange, Anderson tells Scherrman, “I have not had good experience with Dubuque police officers, and I’m just really tired of the racial profiling.” Scherrman denies any racial profiling.

Scherrman returned to his police vehicle to process Anderson’s documents. After several minutes, Anderson stepped out of her vehicle with her hands up.

Anderson asked Scherrman permission for her or one of her children to put the groceries away in their house. Scherrman raised his voice and said “No! Nobody’s leaving the car!”

Scherrman ordered Anderson to return to her vehicle. Anderson responded, “You don’t have to yell at me. I’ve addressed you with respect, you’re not going to disrespect me.”

As Anderson returned to her vehicle, she sat down in the driver’s seat and left the door open so she could pull her left leg into the car. Scherrman approached Anderson’s car and grabbed the door, pulling it against Anderson’s leg.

Anderson repeatedly asked Scherrman to take his hands off of the door and said that she would close it on her own. Scherrman refused to let go of the door, despite Anderson’s leg being stuck between the body of the car and the driver’s side door.

By this time, Officer Freund, a deputy sheriff for the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office had arrived on scene.

Scherrman eventually let go of the door to allow Anderson to move her leg back into the vehicle. Once Anderson’s leg was inside of the car, Scherrman shut the door.

Anderson had become offended by Scherrman shutting her door. Therefore, she briefly opened the door and closed it again and said, “I will shut my own door.”

Scherrman and Freund became angry by what they had perceived as an act of defiance. Scherrman approached Anderson’s door and ordered her to exit her vehicle. Scherrman did not tell Anderson that she was under arrest.

Less than two seconds after telling Anderson to exit her vehicle, Scherrman used physical force to pull her from the car. Freund fired his taser at Anderson before she had the chance to comply with Scherrman’s command.

Three male officers then piled on top of Anderson to arrest her.

KWWL reached out to the Dubuque Police Department. They said that they do not comment on active investigations.

We have reached out to the City Attorney and are waiting to hear back for comment.

Ashley Scott

Reporter, Dubuque

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