For the fourth time in less than a year, a lawsuit was settled against a Dunwoody police officer, this time for allegedly searching a man’s car without probable cause and accusing him of smoking marijuana.
Officer Dale Laskowski remains employed by the department following the $52,000 settlement stemming from a March 2014 incident, officials confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The settlement took place last month.
Colton G. Laidlaw, 17 at the time, said Laskowski pulled him over for going 15 mph over the speed limit in a curve, according to the lawsuit. Laskowski claimed he saw marijuana “scattered all over the seats and floor” and began searching the car and patting down Laidlaw.
Laidlaw’s attorney, Mark Bullman, said there was no evidence of marijuana in the car, even though Laskowski noted it was collected in the police report.
Bullman said Laidlaw was released with just a warning.
Bullman said his client is thankful a settlement was reached.
“He thought it was just one of those circumstances where he was going to have to put up with being abused by police and nothing was done,” Bullman said in a telephone interview Thursday.
This is the fourth time Laskowski has been sued for similar allegations. In July 2016, Dunwoody police settled with three people for a combined $177,000. Bullman also represented the clients in those cases, each questioning searches and the use of police dogs during traffic stops, the AJC previously reported.
No one was arrested in any of the incidents, Bullman said.
“It’s an issue of principle because no one went to jail,” he said.
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