Lawsuit: Michigan Cop Beat Black Teen In Wrongful Arrest

| by Michael Allen

Natalie Thompson says that her 15-year-old son suffered permanent injuries after being beaten by a police officer in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 2014.

Thompson filed a lawsuit in December alleging that the officer used “unreasonable and excessive force” and had "no lawful authority" to arrest her son, identified in court papers only as D.B., the New York Daily News reports.

“They want to see change with the racist practices of the Grand Rapids Police Department that have been prevalent for some time,” Keeley Heath, one of the family's lawyers, 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 city officials are reviewing the allegations.

"Until our initial review is complete, however, it would be premature to comment on this pending lawsuit," Mish said via email.

According to the lawsuit, D.B. was standing near an intersection with four other black teens on the night of June 13, 2014, when an unidentified person called 911 about an armed black male rumored to be in the area.

Police reportedly approached the teens, who all ran. Officers Sean McCamman, Nathan Mead and Peter Thompson chased D.B., who tried to climb a fence.

McCamman allegedly threw D.B. face-first down to the ground and then hit the teen with his fist and flashlight even though D.B. was reportedly not resisting.

The suit alleges that McCamman “intended to use deadly force” on the teen.

D.B. was charged with resisting and obstructing a police officer, and carrying a concealed weapon, but was eventually cleared of those charges.

The suit states that D.B. still suffers from numerous physical ailments, had his graduation delayed by a year because he was unable to attend school, and can no longer play certain sports "at the elite level in which he previously played."

The city and McCamman are being sued along with Mead and Thompson, who allegedly did not stop McCamman from beating D.B. All three officers are accused of misleading prosecutors.

The officers have not commented on the lawsuit, and neither has their union, the Grand Rapids Police Officers Association.

Sources: MLive, New York Daily News / Photo credit: New York Daily News