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Attorneys say no excessive force used in Richland Co. traffic stop


FARGO (KFGO-AM) - New court documents are revealing more details about a high-profile civil rights lawsuit pending against two Richland County deputies. Three men claim the deputies used excessive force during a traffic stop in Abercrombie, ND in August, 2011.

The documents, prepared by attorneys representing Richland Co. and the deputies, say the men in the pickup had been smoking marijuana and drinking. Two of the men were described as "buzzed" when they left a street dance in Barnesville shortly before they were pulled over.

One of the deputies found marijuana on the driver of the pickup, who was cited for reckless endangerment, fleeing and drug possession.

The documents say the man who claimed his back was injured during the incident had a pre-existing injury from a snowmobile crash.

Attorneys who represent the deputies say excessive force was not used because it was reasonable to assume the men were trying to evade arrest. They're asking a judge to order the case dismissed.