Woman files $1 million lawsuit over botched 'Armed & Famous' raid
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/06/2007
A case of mistaken identity during filming of CBS' short-lived Armed & Famous reality series could reportedly cost $1 million in damages.
The $1 million lawsuit was filed based on a December 12, 2006 raid in which Muncie, IN police officers entered Lyndsay Clements' home accompanied by CBS television crews who were shooting footage for Armed & Famous, a reality series that transformed several D-list celebrities into Muncie cops. The lawsuit alleges Clements was cuffed while officers reportedly trashed her apartment in search of two people she didn't know before it was quickly realized they had went to the wrong address.
Last week Clements filed the $1 million lawsuit in U.S. District Court, the Muncie Star Pressreported Tuesday, which lists as defendants Muncie officer Michael Edwards; Police Chief Joe Winkle; Mayor Dan Canan; CBS Broadcasting Inc.; Armed & Famous production company Good TV Inc; as well as Armed & Famous celebrity cop Jack Osbourne -- who participated in the raid but remained outside the apartment.
"This is not a dime to CBS," the plaintiff's Indianapolis civil rights attorney Michael Sutherlin told the Star Press. "If they want to make a circus of police shows, they ought to be held accountable.
The lawsuit claims that police "violated Clements' civil and constitutional rights," the Star Press reported, including "protection against unreasonable search and seizure" and that the city "acted negligently in failing to properly train" the Armed & Famous cops, which in addition to Osbourne, also included former The Surreal Life 2 roommate and CHiPs freeway patrolman Eric Estrada, professional skateboarder and Jackass star Jason "Wee Man" Acuna, former WWE wrestling champion Trish Stratus and singer La Toya Jackson. According to the Star Press, the $1 million request includes only compensatory damages.
"If you think of cops as clowns and want to give them guns, you're putting everybody at risk," Sutherlin told the Star Press. "This should not be entertainment television."
While Armed & Famous had been intended to run for seven episodes following its January 10 premiere, CBS only broadcast four episodes before pulling the show from its Wednesdays at 8PM time period after it struggled to compete against American Idol's sixth season on Fox. In early February, VH1 aired the four episodes of the series that were previously broadcast on CBS, as well as one unaired episode, during a five-hour Armed & Famous marathon. At the time, the future of both the two unaired episodes as well as a second season of Armed & Famous -- either on VH1 or CBS -- was undecided.