Mom sues city of Mount Dora over officers' treatment of her daughter

Mother says teen was thrown to the ground, verbally abused


MOUNT DORA, Fla. – The mother of a Mount Dora teen is suing the city, after she says her daughter was thrown to the ground and verbally abused by officers after her top fell off.

"It's just been four years of hell, been like a nightmare," said Marie Henry, who says she's suing the city and officers Brett Livingston and Ivelisse Severance. "Children have a right to walk down the street without being assaulted," she said.

It was four Halloweens ago, according to the lawsuit, Henry's then 13-year-old daughter Morgan was walking with friends in downtown Mount Dora, when she was stopped by police.

The lawsuit says she refused to give the officers her name.

She was then "slammed to the ground," handcuffed, and her tube top came down, exposing her breasts in public.

The lawsuit says officer Severance refused to help the teen fix her top, instead, she said, "you shouldn't have come outside dressed like that."

Henry says the officers took her daughter to the police department and never notified her.

The city of Mount Dora did look into the teen's arrest and how she was treated, after Morgan filed a Citizen Complaint in 2009.

In a statement sent to Local 6, the city said,

"After a thorough Internal Investigation was conducted, both officers were exonerated. Our city's police department is committed to ensuring the safety and equal treatment of all Mount Dora residents. Our officers, including the two involved here, are exemplary public servants. We hold our officers to a high standard, and we're proud of what our department represents."