A federal civil rights lawsuit has been filed against a white Durham, North Carolina, police officer accusing him of body slamming a 16-year-old Black high school student and then claiming that he framed the teen for assault after the officer injured his shoulder while using excessive force.
Tony Scott Jr., who is now 17, was at a convenience store during his lunch recess from Hillside High School in January 2019, according to his attorney, Sharika Robinson. When inside, Officer Michael McGlasson allegedly looked around, walked up to Scott and said he was going to search him, reports the News & Observer.
Scott claims that when he refused the search, the officer grabbed him, held him “harder and harder” before throwing him down. Scott then fled from the store and ran to a nearby neighborhood and hid, crouching down inside an SUV.
On the same day, a warrant was issued saying the teen had assaulted McGlasson, causing him to dislocate his shoulder and miss several days of work. The officer also claims he had to be referred to a surgeon for treatment.
The lawsuit calls the incident a “modern day lynching” and aims to hold the city and its police department accountable for creating an environment that allows the disparate treatment of Black children without consequence.
The lawsuit questions, “Is your child next to be assaulted, hunted down by dogs, framed for crimes fabricated by police, jailed with adults and have their future hang on the discovery of a public video, all while police know but decide to hide the truth and lynch him instead of admitting their own mistake?”
A police spokesperson told the News & Observer that they will not comment on litigation and will respond in court pleadings.
Scott was charged with two felonies after his arrest, but the charges were later dropped after a video was shown to the assistant district attorney in the case. His lawsuit will attempt to show that McGlasson fabricated charges against Scott, when his job was to serve and protect him.
“This complaint establishes that police are out of control, and that Black people are not even safe in a Black town with a Black Woman Chief of Police,” the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina Western Division states. “And further that, as the Black community suspects, the entire police force is corrupt and reforms need to be made.”
The lawsuit accuses the police of excessive force, battery and violating the teen’s rights with an illegal search and seizure. It also accuses the officer, the city and Police Department of civil rights violations, illegal seizure and unlawful detention, along with abuse of process, false imprisonment, infliction of emotional distress and malicious prosecution.
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