September 11, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: media@acludc.org

WASHINGTON—Late on Monday, a private attorney representing Metropolitan Police Department Officer Sean Lojacono filed an answer in the ACLU-DC case against the officer for violating the Fourth Amendment rights of M.B. Cottingham, a 39-year-old D.C. resident, during an exceedingly invasive stop and frisk in September 2017. The incident, which was caught on video, shows Ofc. Lojacono grabbing Cottingham’s genitals and jamming his fingers between his buttocks during a routine search.

In yesterday’s filing, Ofc. Lojacono admits that he handcuffed Mr. Cottingham and commanded him to spread his legs, but denies the allegations that are at the heart of the complaint: that Ofc. Lojacono “reached … between Mr. Cottingham’s legs, grabbed his scrotum, felt around with his hand, and stuck his thumb in Mr. Cottingham’s anus” and that the officer stuck his fingers between Mr. Cottingham’s buttocks twice more. A video of these events is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zXILS80IyyU

The following can be attributed to Scott Michelman, Legal Co-Director, ACLU of the District of Columbia:

“The D.C. Attorney General’s office usually represents police officers who are facing legal action, so it’s unusual that it has elected not to represent Ofc. Lojacono in this case. The substance of yesterday’s filing is also quite strange, as it denies events captured clearly on video. We look forward to proving the truth of Mr. Cottingham’s allegations and continuing to fight for Mr. Cottingham’s rights.”

A video of Mr. Cottingham speaking about the search can be seen here: https://www.acludc.org/en/news/aclu-dc-sues-dc-police-officer-anal-probi...

More information about the case, Cottingham v. Lojacono, can be found here: https://www.acludc.org/en/cases/cottingham-v-lojacono

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