Look for at least a dozen lawsuits to result from the Knox County Sheriff’s Department raid on the Outlaws motorcycle club headquarters New Year’s Eve. Most of the people attending a party at the time of the raid were not club members, but guests. They were detained overnight and allege mistreatment.
The club itself filed a $6 million lawsuit last week and at least one of the guests, Cynthia Allison, filed a $1.1 million suit on April 30. Most of the other guests are expected to follow. Allison’s suit contends the officers burst into the party with guns drawn, throwing concussion grenades and threatening party-goers. The guest were held on a bus in the parking lot for nine hours before being released, according to the suit.
Joseph Linger, a bar bouncer who joined the club, got a job as an undercover officer for the sheriff’s department. When his identity was discovered, club members took his vest and he told the Sheriff’s Department they threatened him. He had told the sheriff’s office the club engaged in criminal activity, including drug dealing. The raid did not find any evidence for Linger’s claims.
The suits allege the deputies smashed walls, furniture, and windows during the raid.
Knoxville police were also at the scene that night and the city police have been included in the lawsuit.