The Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 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 confirmed the letter's existence at a meeting on Tuesday. She said it was received by mail last Wednesday and contains "very serious allegations."
Attorney Joel Andophy 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.