Aspiring rapper sues Kent Co. for excessive force

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kent County man has filed a lawsuit claiming he was the victim of excessive force and false arrest by the Kent County Sheriff’s Department.

The lawsuit is filed in Grand Rapids Federal Court seeking more than $75,000.

Jonathan Harger, 30, says he was minding his own business when police used excessive force outside a house party in Gaines Township.

A Kent County Sheriff’s report obtained by 24 Hour News 8 tells a different story.

Hartger has been in the news before. In September of 2017, he told 24 Hour News 8 about his harrowing trip from Tampa Bay to Grand Rapids as a hurricane bore down on Florida.

Hartger is also working to get noticed as a rap artist using the alias “Jonny Fiction.”

On Dec. 17, he was at a party at a home in a Gaines Township subdivision celebrating the release of a new single.

According to a Kent County Sheriff’s Department report, Deputy Brandon Marz came to the home on Brooklyn Avenue SE near Eastern and 68th Street on a report of a loud party around 1 a.m.

Marz reported that when he got there, the street was lined with cars and a crowd was on the porch and scampered inside when they saw a uniformed police officer approaching.

In his lawsuit, Hartger said he was on the porch smoking a cigarette but the deputy said there was the smell of marijuana “on his person.”

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