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$________ Civil Rights – A group of African Americans are detained by the defendants without probable cause – Illegal detention – Illegal search and seizure – Intentional infliction of emotional distress.

U.S.D.C. - District of Florida

Eight African American plaintiffs went to the defendant mall together and when they arrived in the mall parking lot they were detained by mall security for no reason. After providing the defendant security chief with identification and credentials the plaintiffs were allowed in the mall only to be detained once they left the mall by the Orange County Sherriff’s department which was responding to the defendant security chief’s call regarding two armed black men at the mall. The only remaining defendant at trial was the security company who denied all liability and maintained that they properly called the Sherriff’s Department to report that several of the plaintiffs were carrying concealed weapons.

The plaintiffs, part of an African American film crew, went to Orlando on November 22nd ________ to shoot film at a college football game. The plaintiffs stopped at the defendant Magic Outlet Mall to shop. As the plaintiffs were about to enter the mall, they were surrounded in the parking lot by employees of the defendant mall security with guns drawn. The plaintiffs included an out of state police officer, and an out of state security guard who were both carrying their revolvers as they were hired by the crew as security protection. Those two plaintiffs were able to produce their permits and credentials to the chief of security and the crew was then allowed in the mall.

Once in the mall, the chief inexplicably called ________ to report two armed black men in the mall. The Orange County Sheriff responded with a full tactical squad and took down the plaintiffs as they exited the mall, forcefully commanding them at gunpoint to the ground where most were handcuffed, frisked, searched, their identification taken and they were interrogated. Frightened and humiliated before a crowd of on looking shoppers, the plaintiffs were ultimately released and no charges were ever filed against any of them.

The plaintiffs sued the security firm, the mall owners and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office maintaining that their civil rights were violated by the defendant. The specific claims were illegal stop/detention/imprisonment in violation of Article 1, sections 2 and 9 of the Constitution of the State of Florida; illegal search, seizure and battery in violation of Article 1, Sections 9 and 12 of the Constitution of the State of Florida and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The defendants denied all allegations of civil rights violations and argued that each defendant acted in accordance with the laws regarding the carrying of a weapon.The only remaining defendant at trial was the security company for the mall. One of the plaintiffs settled his suit with the defendant out of court prior to trial. The jury found in favor of all seven of the remaining plaintiffs and awarded each $________ for intentional infliction of emotional distress. In addition, the jury assessed punitive damages against the defendants in the amount of $________.

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