OAKLAND, Calif. (CN) – A man who was detained with 22-year-old Oscar Grant, who was shot to death by a Bay Area Rapid Transit District police officer, says police used excessive force on him before and after the fatal shooting.
Johntue Caldwell says he was riding the BART train home from a party on New Year’s Eve 2008 when an “altercation” broke out. Officers met the train when at the station, but “all was peaceful when the train arrived at the Fruitvale BART station,” according to the federal complaint.
Caldwell claims that he as soon as he disembarked the train, “He felt the nose of a Taser touch his forehead.” He says he was forcibly detained on the platform along with Grant and other unarmed friends.
Caldwell says he cooperated with police by lying face-down on the ground, but one officer “repeatedly pointed her Taser at him, rubbing it against his nose and eyes threatening to Tase him in the face.”
While she threatened him with the Taser, Caldwell says, the officer “cursed and called him a ‘nigger.'”
Caldwell says he saw an officer shoot Grant in the back and “was immediately in fear of losing his life.”
He seeks $5 million in damages for constitutional violations.
He is represented by Sarah Lawrence of Oakland.