A man who was arrested during the civil unrest in Baltimore, in April, following the death of Freddie Gray, is suing the Baltimore police department for wrongful arrest, excessive force, false imprisonment and battery. Allegedly, when asked for his badge number, the arresting officer replied, “It’s 666. I’m the devil.”
In his lawsuit, filed Wednesday, Branden Owens says that, on April 27th—the day of the funeral for Freddie Gray, who died in police custody earlier that month—he was walking near Mondawmin Mall, where the day’s rioting initially broke out, when a police officer hit him in the chest with a baton after he’d asked whether he could approach the grocery store.
Owens was arrested—according to the suit, the flex cuffs were so tight that his hands turned purple—and spent two days in jail before being released without charges, the Associated Press reports. (At the time, NBC News reported that Baltimore police held more than 100 people for two days before releasing them without charges.)
While incarcerated, Owens alleges that despite telling authorities that he is lactose intolerant, he was given only milk, bread and cheese to eat.
When Owens was released he checked himself into Mercy Hospital, where he was treated for bruised wrists, lower back muscle spasms and contusions, the suit says.
The suit names Officer Philip Meadows, the police department, the mayor, the City Council and the state. Owens is asking for more than $1 million, but told ABC 2 that it’s about more than the money. “Hopefully other people will follow my lead and this is what we’ll get out of this—someone to protect and serve us,” he said.