The Portsmouth Police Department has been served a demand letter seeking $21 million from five residents claiming to be victims of police misconduct and "malicious prosecution."
The Portsmouth Herald reports the letter requests immediate payment of the sum or the plaintiffs will take the police department and city to court, where they allege a jury would award damages exceeding the demanded compensation.
Police Commission Chairman Brenna Cavanaugh says the city received the letter April 6 and that it contains "very serious allegations."
Attorney Joel Androphy claims that his clients were victims of "extreme abuse and misuse of police power and authority" that included libel, slander, harassment and infliction of emotional duress at the hands of Portsmouth officers.
Former Deputy Chief Corey MacDonald called the demand letter "absolutely and completely baseless."