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WARREN Woman guilty of traffic violation



Published: Fri, August 3, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The woman's nephew said she was driving the car when police stopped the vehicle for a traffic violation.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A woman who was a witness in a complaint of alleged police brutality has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge.

Gracie Parks of Warren pleaded no contest Thursday in municipal court to a charge of allowing an unlicensed person to drive her vehicle.

Visiting Judge Donald Ford Jr. found Parks guilty and fined her $50. In exchange for her plea, a misdemeanor charge of failing to display signals before turning was dismissed. She declined to comment.

Parks' nephew, Lamont Murray, has stated that Parks was driving the vehicle when police stopped the car June 25.

Police said they saw a man driving the car but when they stopped the vehicle, Parks was in the driver's seat.

Excessive force: Murray filed a written complaint last month against Sgt. Rob Massucci and patrol officer David Weber, saying the two used excessive force when they arrested him that day.

The police department's internal affairs division is investigating the matter. Police Chief John Mandopoulos said he will ask the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation to probe the matter when his department is finished.

Massucci has said that the two did not use excessive force when making the arrest.

Police said they stopped the car Murray was riding in because the driver of the vehicle failed to put on a turn signal before making a turn.

Assault charges: Murray is facing charges of assault of a police officer, obstructing official business and resisting arrest. He has pleaded innocent to the charges and his case is pending. He is free on a $3,500 bond.

Murray said police used pepper spray on him and beat him. Murray said he had 20 staples in his head to close a gash caused by police.

Murray also said that he was hit with a night stick and kicked.




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