Anchorage jury hears excessive police force case

Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An Anchorage jury is hearing the case of a woman who says a police officer used excessive force during a drunken-driving arrest three years ago.

In opening statements in Superior Court Tuesday, an attorney for Becky Saloka said police officer John Conley tackled her from behind. Attorney Thomas Williams said the officer repeatedly slammed Saloka's face into the ground, hard enough to break her nose and leave her battered and bruised.

Defense attorney Scott Hendricks Leuning said that any force used that night was appropriate and made necessary by Saloka's abusive behavior. Leuning said Saloka repeatedly tried to leave the scene, kicked Conley and tried to kick out the windows and doors of the police car where she was placed.

Both sides have hired experts in the use of police force.

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