STOCKTON (CBS) — A crowd gathered in Stockton on Saturday with voices raised and strong emotions to demand justice after seeing newly released police body camera video of four officers beating 17-year-old Devin Carter late last year.
The family’s high-profile civil-rights attorney John Burris, whose past clients include Rodney King, released the video last week and it was shown Saturday on a large screen outside Stockton City Hall for more to see.
Devin Carter, an 18-year-old senior at Lincoln High School in north Stockton, appeared at the screening with his parents.
Carter was 17 on the night of Dec. 30 when he was beaten by arresting officers after a brief police pursuit that ended on Davis Road at Eight Mile Road at the north edge of town.
“I thought I was gonna die,” Carter said Saturday.
The bodycam video shown at Saturday’s news conference starts with an officer telling Carter not to move and then telling him to take his seatbelt off, while using expletives. Once Carter was pulled out of the car, he shouted at least six times that he was not resisting. At one point he can be heard screaming out in pain.
“I’ve watched it and I have righteous indignation burning in my bones. I am irritated, upset. I was irritated and frustrated but now I am enraged and I am angry,” said community social justice organizer, Toni McNeil.
Stockton police fired two of the officers involved, Michael Stiles and Omar Villapudua. However, community members now want justice with the other two involved.
“Stockton PD, you don’t get to beat somebody down on camera and think it’s OK and ain’t nobody going to check you!” McNeil exclaimed.
Pictures of Carter show his swollen and bruised face, including what looks like an imprint of the bottom of a shoe.
“The officers’ conduct was so atrocious that they should be criminally prosecuted,” Burris said on Friday when he first posted the video. “The most troubling aspect of this case is that these officers must have believed that they were somehow immune from department discipline and could get away with their conduct knowing that their body-worn cameras were on.”
Police chief Eric Jones released a statement earlier last week that read in part:
“Our department has policies that state we should make attempts to avoid striking an arrestee around the head and neck area when possible. Given this set of circumstances, I cannot and will not condone any excessive force. Additionally, any use of profanity is considered unwarranted and not professional.”
CONTINUING COVERAGE AT CBS SACRAMENTO: Arrest and Police Beating of Stockton Teen Devin Carter