Colorado man files civil complaint against Tisbury police

Tisbury Police department in Vineyard Haven.

Updated, Oct. 16

A former Vineyard Haven man has filed a civil lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts in Boston against the town of Tisbury, as well as Tisbury Police officers.

Brian Langhammer, now living in Fairplay, Colo., argues in the lawsuit filed Thursday, Oct. 5, that his First, Fourth, and 14th Amendment rights were violated when he was arrested last year.

According to court documents, Langhammer is representing himself in the case. The suit has been assigned to Judge Patti B. Saris.

Langhammer claims that police slandered him, and caused the intentional infliction of emotional distress following his arrest last year, as well as in 2020. According to a press release issued by Langhammer on Friday, Oct. 13, he is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in the amount of $6,535,000.

Tisbury Police issued a statement on Sunday, laying out the process they followed that led to Langhammer’s arrest. 

In June last year, The Times reported that Langhammer was charged with threatening to kill police officers based on a social media post. During his arraignment, he was ordered held in lieu of $10,000 cash bail. He was taken into custody by Tisbury and State Police on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. 

Police at the time said that he posted a photo of a pig or a boar in crosshairs of a firearm scope, with the caption: “Warm up those bagpipes, #Martha’sVineyard. Justice is coming.”

In a public statement, Chief Christopher Habekost said that the case was reported to the department by a “concerned citizen” who thought Langhammer was a threat to local law enforcement officers. Habekost said the department jointly investigated the case with Massachusetts State Police. “This case was reviewed for the establishment of elements of the crime alleged, against the defendant, and approved for prosecution by the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office,” the statement said.

Tisbury Police say that the case was submitted to the Edgartown District Court along with an arrest warrant, which was also reviewed by a clerk magistrate in Falmouth District Court “to avoid any perceived conflict of interest,” Chief Habekost said.

The chief said that the arrest warrant was served without incident, and there was no use of force in making the arrest. 

Langhammer, in his court filing, said that police originally kept him detained at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital out of concern that he was suicidal. Langhammer argues in the lawsuit that no such concern existed. 

After his arraignment, Langhammer says that he was transferred to Bridgewater State Hospital where he underwent a 30-day psychiatric evaluation. Afterward, he said that he was transferred back to the Dukes County Jail and House of Correction. In the court filing, Langhammer said that he served 134 days’ confinement before the misdemeanor charges were dismissed during a motion hearing at Barnstable Superior Court.

“Mr. Langhammer contends that he has been the target of a pattern and practice of abuse at the hands of the Tisbury Police in retaliation for his public criticism of the department and certain of its members in local community online forums and elsewhere, and that in addition to Tisbury officers violating his civil rights, members of the Tisbury Police department (and possibly others, who may be added as defendants later) conspired to do so,” Langhammer’s press release states. 

Along with the town of Tisbury, former Tisbury Sergeant Jeff Day, Detective Charles Duquette, Officer Scott Ogden, and Sergeant Max Sherman are listed as co-defendants in the Oct. 5 filing.

The updated story includes a statement issued by the Tisbury Police Department.


  1. 6 million dollars is not nearly enough to compensate Mr. Langhammer after the destruction done to his life and psyche by the Tisbury Police Department. It is shameful to think that officers of the law are permitted to conduct such draconian and arbitrary acts with impunity.

    • I know this guy– His life and psyche were not actually
      doing all that great before this incident.
      You have to be a little bit off to post something
      like he did.
      So let’s just say he followed through and
      brought his version of “Justice” to the police department.
      The haters here would claim the police were negligent
      for not arresting him. Especially if an innocent passerby
      was caught in the crossfire. Threatening to kill
      police officers is a crime.
      Too bad for him he couldn’t post bail.

    • You should talk to his ex-wife and daughter. Their psyches have probably been more affected by these issues. However, from the publicly accessible records, it seems the police were simply trying to remedy issues that stemmed from Mr. Langhammer’s poor behavior.

      It’s easy to sip the Kool Aid when you’re a longtime friend of Brian’s and even took him in during all of this.

  2. It’s strange, I searched “Brian Langhammer” on MV Times and found several public court arraignments for crimes he allegedly committed. He also appears to be representing himself in a civil suit where he is requesting nearly 7 million dollars.

    What a waste of time. Seems clear as day someone is grasping at straws. Good luck, you’ll need it.

  3. I have a lot more to say about this that I will keep to myself, but I do want to note that if Mr. Langhammer is even slightly successful, this could open the flood gates for many similar suits that people, such as myself, have contemplated over the years but have been dissuaded by lawyers from filing because of the lawyer’s own lack of confidence or the lawyers desire to remain in the line with the local ruling class. With that in mind, I wish Mr. Langhammer the best of luck in his pursuit of justice ($).

    • Brian never said Milo made a threat. He asked if he knows making a threat is a crime. I’m pretty sure it’s in response to Milo’s letter about Mr. Langhammet having his life ruined for basically no reason.

    • andy– you read it– Brian is not claiming Milo is making
      any threats– Just pointing out that threatening
      police officers is a crime– Which is what
      Langerham did. Clear and simple to

  4. This article is not about Milos making a threat.
    It is about unacceptable police behavior.
    It has become a financial burden on the taxpayer.
    We the people will no longer tolerate being bullied.
    Why do think that cops resist cameras?
    Is it just the bad cops?

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