Mexican National Settles Unlawful Detainment Lawsuit Against Spokane

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Gabriel Gomez Maciel, a Mexican national, sued the City of Spokane when he was detained by Spokane Police after he was involved in a car accident. Maciel was driving to church on August 24, 2014 when his vehicle was struck by a minivan. The driver of the minivan failed to yield to the right of way.

Maciel was detained by Spokane Police Officer Mylissa Coleman after she responded to the scene. Officer Coleman contacted Border Patrol and asked if they had “any interest” in Maciel. At the time of the accident, Maciel had no criminal record, a valid driver’s license, and car insurance. Although Maciel was in the process of seeking permanent resident status, he was detained for an hour before he was handcuffed and removed from the scene by federal agents.

Maciel’s Attorney: “He never received treatment for his injuries”

Maciel’s federal lawsuit was filed by Northwest Immigration Project and the ACLU. Matt Adams, one of the lawyers representing Maciel had strong words related to his detainment: “Instead of the police officer inquiring about his medical condition or making calls, she was off calling Border Patrol. He was placed in cuffs and carted across the state. He never received treatment for his injuries.”