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Lawsuit by man who recorded traffic stop in Pevely settles for $75,000

Lawsuit by man who recorded traffic stop in Pevely settles for $75,000

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Pevely officer Wayne Casey

Former Pevely police officer Wayne Casey, in a photo from the city of Pevely website.

PEVELY — A lawsuit by a man who said a Pevely police officer illegally detained him and seized his cellphone has been settled for $75,000, according to settlement documents obtained Monday.

Matthew Rankin, of Corpus Christi, Texas, sued in U.S. District Court in St. Louis in June, claiming that Officer Wayne Casey pried his phone out of his hand using a “thumb lock” and repeatedly threatened him with arrest after Casey spotted Rankin filming a traffic stop on Jan. 16, 2019. Casey also went through the contents of Rankin’s phone and ran his identification on a police computer, the suit said.

Rankin later obtained a copy of the video from Casey’s body camera and shared it online.

In the settlement, Casey and Pevely deny Rankin’s allegations. Rankin’s lawsuit was dismissed Friday.

“It’s a fair settlement for what happened,” Rankin told the Post-Dispatch on Monday. “I wish Pevely all the best (in teaching) their officers how to interact with the public.”

The lawyer for Casey and the city did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Casey later was fired from the department after he was seen on video sitting at a desk in the booking area as another officer shoved and choked a prisoner.

That officer, Robert “Ryan” Watson, pleaded guilty last month to a federal misdemeanor civil rights offense.

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