Two former California cops have been charged with abusing a Black adolescent following a chase and arrest in December.
Former Stockton Police Department officers Omar Villadupua and Michael Stiles were charged with felony counts of assault by a public officer and assault with force likely to inflict serious bodily injury by San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar on Friday (Sept. 17). “This grand jury indictment serves as a reminder to all of us that when police use excessive force, they erode community trust,” Salazar said. “As the daughter of a police officer, I understand how critical it is to rebuild public trust, safety, and honor in the profession.”
Villadupua and Stiles beat Devin Carter last year after he was accused of speeding to his father’s house. Officers pursued the boy for three minutes before forcing him to come to a halt. The officers were seen hauling Carter out of his vehicle on body camera footage. They screamed expletives and commanded the boy to stop resisting. Carter yelled in pain and stated that he was not resisting arrest. “You are!” says the narrator. One of the officers exclaimed, “Give us your fucking hands!”
After Carter and his family were violently arrested, Carter’s lawyer, John Burris, released images of his client. During the police chase, he said his client was afraid for his life. “When the cops were chasing him down, Devin was terrified,” he claimed. “On a dark road with no one else to defend and save you, that’s the kind of fear an African American guy will have.”
Burris praised the district attorney’s indictment as well. In a written statement, he said, “District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar is to be praised for criminally prosecuting this Stockton police officer who violently beat Devin Carter, a helpless youngster.”
“Regardless of the verdict, this prosecution should send a clear message that cops who use their badges to perpetrate horrible crimes in this county will pay a high price.”
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