Family considers legal action against Chatham-Kent police
Charges against a teenager have been withdrawn and allegations of excessive use by the Chatham-Kent police force have one family considering legal action.
Last August, CTV News exclusively obtained a security video of an altercation between Chatham-Kent officers and a young black man.
A lawsuit is being considered against two officers and the police service for allegations of racially-motivated excessive use of force.
Assault and resisting arrest charges were dropped against a 17-year-old black Chatham resident earlier this week.
The teen's lawyer believes home security video may play a pivotal role in any further outcome.
“I couldn't defend myself. I was not in the shape to defend myself,” the teen says.
He cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act,
He says on July 25, he and his girlfriend were stopped by police two times.
The first, he says, shortly after leaving a party and the second in front of his home.
“I’m really happy that there were cameras there because if there wasn't cameras there, nobody will ever believe my side.”
The teen admits to showing his middle finger to police officers after their first encounter, but believed it went unnoticed, until police showed up at his home.
“I didn't think he saw it. We got home. I got out of the car. One of the officers ran up and he asked me a question. I answered his question. He grabbed me and that's when it started,” the teen says.
Surveillance video appears to show the teen either being pushed or thrown, landing on the ground.
A few seconds go by and another police officer comes into view.
The teen is on his hands and knees when the first officer appears to deliver five punches to the teen's head and one punch to his mid-section.
The video then seems to show the second officer quickly stepping in with what appears to be a stun gun. It's alleged the officer shocked the youth’s shoulder for several seconds before applying handcuffs.
“Honestly, every time I see a police officer I kind of get the chills. Like, I'm scared of police officers now. Those are supposed to be the people that protect us and protect my family and protect me and every time I see a police officer I don't feel that way now.”
His lawyer claims police statements detailing the incident do not match the security video.
"It makes you wonder if you can’t trust the police officers to tell the truth in their statements and if we have to rely on security footage, what would have happened if there had not been any security footage? What would have happened to this young black man? Would anyone have believed him?” David Sandor questions.