Elderly couple says officers broke down door, shocked son with stun gun -- all over minor traffic violations

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CINCINNATI -- A court decision revives a couple's claims that police illegally broke into their Cleveland home and intentionally inflicted emotional distress by hurling racial epithets and beating their adult son.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision Monday says Cleveland Clinic Police Department officers used unnecessary force in "a violent, traumatic invasion" of Essex and Annie Hayward's home in 2011. The couple are in their 80s.

They accuse officers of busting down their door without a warrant over minor traffic violations, repeatedly shocking their son with a stun gun, beating him with batons and kicking him in the head -- all while using racial slurs.

He is black. The suit doesn't specify the race of the officers.

An attorney for Cleveland Clinic police didn't immediately return requests for comment Monday.

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