CHARLESTON -- A man is suing the city of Charleston after he claims police officers unlawfully detained him because of his race.

On Oct. 14 Charleston police officers unlawfully detained Mark Brooks, caused him to be the subject of a warrantless and illegal search and confiscated in excess of $11,835 in cash from him, according to a complaint filed Jan. 22 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Brooks claims he was at the Greyhound bus depot when the police officers approached him and at no time did they exhibit a warrant for arrest, a summons, a search warrant or any other identification of legality to justify their actions.

The police officers did not locate "any drugs, drug paraphernalia or other indicia of illegal drug use" in Brooks' belongings, according to the suit.

Brooks claims attempts to peaceably have his money restored have been unsuccessful and that neither the Charleston Police Department or Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney's Office will respond to his written and telephone inquiries.

Brooks claims he has suffered embarrassment and humiliation, has sustained a loss of his civil rights and sustained loss of his money. He claims the police officers' confiscated his money because he is black.

Brooks is seeking for his money to be returned to him. He is being represented by Michael T. Clifford.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 10-C-124

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