SAVANNAH, Ga. (CN) – White police officers are accused of attacking a poor black family without provocation on their own rural property. The family says the incident began when a plainclothes officer in an unmarked car mistook Tommy Lee Williams for someone else, called him a “nigger,” then attacked him from behind and called in backup.
Plaintiffs Tommy Lee Williams, Henrietta Williams, Laquana Beniman, Brian Williams, Dewayne Williams and Latreka Edwards sued Bryan County, the City of Pembroke and several officers in Federal Court.
Tommy Lee Williams says the incident began when Deputy Mark Crowe approached him, on William’s property, in an unmarked car, and not in uniform or displaying a badge. Crowe accused of being someone else; Williams answered some questions then told Crowe to “have a nice day” and attempted to walk away, according to the complaint. Crowe, who had called Williams a “nigger” and other racial slurs, then attacked him from behind and called for backup, according to the complaint.
Deputy Susan Carrington arrived and hit Williams with a baton, then another deputy arrived and Tasered him, the complaint states.
As Williams knelt on the ground, “bleeding so badly he could hardly see,” the officers “continued beat him unmercifully, continue(d) to Taser his with Deputy [Cleve] White’s gun, and to spray Mace in his eyes.” Williams’ family and neighbors gathered and began recording the scene on cellphone cameras, upon which the officers “pulled out their weapons and Tasers and pointed them at these onlookers which included a number of children,” according to the complaint.
Henrietta Williams, Tommy Lee’s 81-year-old grandmother, was “charged with obstructing a police officer when she expressed concern for the welfare of her grandson.”
Also named as defendants are Sheriff Clyde Smith and Deputy Cleve White. The plaintiffs are represented Robert P. McFarland with McFarland & McFarland.