An Iowa man was so enraged last year after seeing a local deputy harass a group of passengers by unlawfully searching their car over a broken tail light before body slamming another man in apparent anger over not finding anything illegal that he took to Facebook to express his anger.
The Adams County Sheriff’s Office retaliated by charging him with third-degree harassment, which could have landed him in jail for 30 days in addition to paying a $625 fine.
Charges were dismissed but now Jon Goldsmith, 50, of Red Oak, is suing and the ACLU is backing him.
The lawsuit stems from an incident in July 2018 during a street festival in Corning when Goldsmith observed Adams County sheriff’s deputy Cory Dorsey pull over a man named Ed Avila in his pickup truck for a broken tail light. Goldsmith knew Avila as a small business owner.
According to the lawsuit, which you can read here, Dorsey demanded the identifications of every passenger in the car.
He then ran a drug detecting dog to sniff for drugs but Goldsmith observed that Dorsey tapped the bed of the truck, then claimed it was the dog, which was when he ordered everybody out of the truck and frisked them.
Dorsey searched the car while the passengers were standing on the sidewalk and when he did not find any contraband, he continued to claim that he was “getting a whiff of something,” according to the lawsuit.
He eventually wrote Avila a citation and allowed him to be on his way.
Dorsey and his partner, Evan Ruse, then walked across the street where Dorsey body slammed a retired firefighter named Mike Arthur who is described as “a well-respected member of the small community.”
Goldsmith was not sure why Arthur was arrested but the following day he saw that the Adams County Sheriff’s Office posted Arthur’s mugshot on its Facebook page saying he was charged with disorderly conduct, which can mean anything.
He was already angry at what he had observed the preceding day, so this made him even angrier, which is when he took to Facebook and posted the following.
Six days later on August 3, Adams County Sheriff’s Sergeant Paul Hogan filed a criminal complaint against Goldsmith accusing him of committing third-degree harassment by claiming he made a “threatening post on Facebook in which he singled out Cory Dorsey multiple times.”
Charges were not dismissed until October 3. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday.
The lawsuit also includes two unrelated incidents of Adams County sheriff’s deputies arresting citizens for cursing at them.