After being stopped, held, and then injured while strolling down the street earlier this month, a Black man has filed a $10 million civil rights complaint against a suburban Detroit police agency and one of its officers.
Brian Chaney, 48, of Farmington Hills, Michigan, filed the lawsuit on Monday against the Keego Harbor Police Department and Officer Richard Lindquist, alleging that he was illegally held while strolling down a business street.
Chaney, a health therapist, was strolling approximately 30 miles northwest of Detroit on July 14 after dropping his teenage boys off for a weight-training class when Lindquist approached him, according to the lawsuit. The altercation is said to have started when Lindquist drew up alongside Chaney and yelled, “Get your hands out of your pocket!”
Chaney says he ignored the officer and was just trying to enjoy his walk at a news conference on Wednesday, July 21.
“I ignored him when I initially saw him. “I was just out for a stroll,” Chaney explained. “I’m just in a nice mood,” he says. I’m in a good place right now. It didn’t cause any anxiety at first.
When he started ranting behind me and I didn’t realize he had driven up behind me, it gave me concern. I’m wearing headphones. I have no idea what he’s saying to me. He’s yelling at me as he sprints back to his car. I was concerned that I would be shot. I simply didn’t know.”
“I’m going to frisk you because you seem like you have a weapon and were going to break into cars,” Lindquist said. Chaney’s groin was damaged when the officer shoved him against the police car, and his wrists were injured by the shackles.
When more cops arrived as backup, Lindquist referred to Chaney as a “dog,” and none of them offered an explanation for why he was being held.
Chaney claimed the cops only let him go after he asked, “What are you going to do next, throw your knee into my neck?” in allusion to George Floyd’s death.
Chaney told reporters on Wednesday that he didn’t want to talk about the incident that led to Floyd’s death. “However, I’m sorry that I had to say that. I moved from being terrified and worried to being quite enraged at that time. For strolling and drinking my coffee, I’m cuffed like an animal.”
Chaney was sent to the hospital following the event because he was suffering from migraines and vomiting, according to the lawsuit.
The defendants “failed to train and or adequately train, supervise, and/or discipline officers and other employees and agents of Defendant KHPD, with regard to racial discrimination and racial harassment, and the constitutional and statutorily protected Civil Rights of citizens,” according to the lawsuit.
Leonard Mungo, Chaney’s lawyer, hopes that the lawsuit will result in changes in the department.
“These communities must accept that their men and women are out there doing a job that demands a lot more training, care, and feeding than what these departments are providing these ladies and gentlemen,” Mungo added.