A Lewiston woman filed a federal lawsuit against the Lewiston Police Department on Thursday, claiming officers unlawfully searched her apartment without a warrant, assaulted her and took her into custody, even though she had not committed a crime.

Tanisha Solomon, 38, said in the complaint filed on her behalf by attorney Michael Waxman in U.S. District Court in Portland that police entered her home by force on July 4, midway through her daughter’s fifth birthday party, creating “pandemonium” among the children.

She later learned the officers had come to her apartment at 308 Bates St. looking for her eldest son, Kamari Solomon, who was not there and whom they suspected of committing a crime. They entered though they did not have search or arrest warrants or other authority to do so, the lawsuit states.

“Detective (Thomas) Murphy then grabbed Ms. Solomon, shoved her out of the apartment and handcuffed her,” Waxman wrote in the 11-page complaint. “Defendant Murphy then dragged Ms. Solomon down two flights of stairs. When Defendant Murphy reached the lobby area, he proceeded to shove Ms. Solomon’s face against the wall.”

The lawsuit names Murphy, former Police Chief Michael Bussiere, the city of Lewiston and other unknown police officers as defendants. It accuses them of violating Solomon’s constitutional rights against unlawful searches, using excessive force, unlawful arrest and false imprisonment. The lawsuit also accuses Murphy individually of assaulting Solomon.

Solomon claims in the lawsuit that Murphy drove her to the police station in his cruiser, interogated her about her eldest son and then drove her home.

“Before releasing her from custody, Defendant Murphy said, ‘we’re cool, right? I owe you one,’ ” Waxman wrote in Solomon’s complaint.

No one returned a message left with the police department’s administrative office Thursday seeking comment on the lawsuit.

Solomon is seeking an unspecified amount of money in the suit.

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