A black man in Michigan has filed a lawsuit against his local police department after he was beaten by police so badly that he lost vision in one eye.
Frankie Taylor was arrested for alleged drink driving on 10 August last year. He was taken to the police station, restrained, tied to a chair and savagely beaten.
The disturbing incident at Eastpointe police department was caught on camera. The footage was obtained from the lawyer representing Mr Taylor via a Freedom of Information request.
After a verbal exchange, the officers get Mr Taylor on the ground and restrain him. They then tie him to chair facing the camera.
“If you keep acting like a child, you’re going to get strapped in that chair and you’re going to stay there,” an officer says to Mr Taylor.
There are four officers surrounding Mr Taylor while he is tied in the chair. Two officers hold down his arms while two others hit Mr Taylor.
They beat him until he loses consciousness. His screams of pain are clearly heard in the video.
“Stop resisting,” the officer says automatically as punches land on Mr Taylor’s face and head. “Stop resisting.”
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO BELOW - VIEWERS MIGHT FIND UPSETTING
“The guy hit me so many times, it made me cry once I seen the tape,” Mr Taylor told Fox news. “I was knocked out.”
He previously had an implant under one eye for glaucoma, but the beating dislodged it and led to his loss of vision.
Mr Taylor was wearing a T-shirt with the names and faces of black leaders at the time of the beating, his lawyer said.
His lawyer, James Rasor, told The Independent that the police moved Mr Taylor to jail the next day instead of hospital. By the time he went to a Detroit hospital for surgery a few days later, it was too late to save his eye.
"I have been practising law for 26 years. I can tell you watching this video still made my stomach turn," he said. "We pay these people to serve and protect, instead it turns into escalate and brutalise. It's up to us to use our First Amendment rights."
He said he knows of at least two other black residents in Eastpointe that were tied to that chair and beaten, and he encouraged anyone else who was hurt to contact him.
Video footage, which was not available at the start of his career, was "crucial" to show the jury what happened, he said, instead of relying on a "he said / she said" police report.
Mr Rasor said his client has “horrible, traumatic nightmares” and medical professionals have not ruled out a long-term brain injury.
Mr Taylor was not allowed to make a phone call once he got to the jail last August, Mr Rasor said, unlike other white detainees.
Eastpointe police department could not be immediately contacted for comment.
The lawsuit requests at least $75,000, excluding legal fees and punitive damages.
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