Natalie Thompson claims in a lawsuit that her 15 year old son suffered severe injuries after having been beaten with both a flashlight and an officer’s fist.
In the lawsuit Thompson claims Grand Rapids Police used “unreasonable and excessive force” and had “no lawful authority” for her son’s June 2014 arrest, theDaily News reports.
The incident occurred after someone called 911 at around 9pm on the evening in question to report a black male with a gun in the area. Thompson’s son, named only as D.B. in the lawsuit, did not fit the description given by the 911 caller, MLive reports.
The lawsuit claims Officers Sean McCamman, Nathan Mead and Peter Thompson approached D.B. and his friends but they split up and ran.
Mead and another officer began to chase D.B., with Thompson and McCamman giving chase as well. McCamman reached D.B. first as the teen was trying to jump a fence.
McCamman allegedly threw D.B. face down in the dirt and beat the teen with his fist and a flashlight, even though the teen was unarmed and reportedly not resisting.
D.B. was charged with resisting, obstructing a police officer, and carrying a concealed weapon, but those charges were eventually dropped.
In addition to extreme pain, the teen also suffered stuttering, loss of consciousness, speech loss, headaches, and sensitivity to light, the lawsuit alleges.
“They want to see change with the racist practices of the Grand Rapids Police Department that have been prevalent for some time,” an attorney for the family told the Daily News. “At this point, I think, for the family, it’s much less about the money. It’s about sending a message to the police that this can’t continue.”
Grand Rapids City Attorney Catherine Mish told MLive that officials are investigating the incident.
“Until our initial review is complete, however, it would be premature to comment on this pending lawsuit,” Mish said.