A dispute over a stolen phone charger has led to allegations of excessive force and a possible trial that could be costly to a small southwestern Michigan city.
A federal appeals court on Friday says a jury should decide whether two Sturgis officers violated the rights of a young man and his mother when they visited their home in search of a charger worth $14.99.
The officers had no warrant to enter the home in May 2010. Charles Smith says his head was slammed against a wall while he was arrested. The appeals court says investigating a small shoplifting offense wouldn't seem to justify such force.
And the missing phone charger? The case was closed with Smith's guilty plea to a lesser misdemeanor, disturbing the peace.