By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An attorney representing five men who claim they were unlawfully detained by 17th District police under orders from their commander in June 2011 has filed a lawsuit against the city, the Philadelphia Police Department, 17th District police commander Capt. Anthony Washington, the police commissioner, and others, seeking unspecified damages.

Attorney Brian Francis Humble says his clients decided to sue after, according to them, they were picked up by police and brought to the district headquarters without cause.

Humble claims the men were told they could either watch a video depicting the impact of violence on families, or face arrest.

“I feel that is egregious behavior,” Humble told KYW Newsradio today.  “Even if it was one hour or ten minutes, by any definition they were arrested and they were incarcerated for a period of time, just to force upon them an instructive video.”

Mayor Nutter’s press secretary, Mark McDonald, had no official response.

“As a matter of policy the City of Philadelphia does not comment on pending litigation. The city’s attorneys will respond through court filings in the future,” he said.

Repeated phone calls to the Philadelphia Police Department were not returned.


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