Police Hunting White Suspect Unfairly Arrests Black Man

BOSTON (AP) — A Boston suburb police officer chasing a white suspect pinned a 20-year-old black man to the ground on his way home and killed him despite no evidence of his involvement. I put my knee on his neck. Any offense, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed Wednesday.

Donovan Johnson was minutes away from home after quitting his job in February 2021. A lawsuit was filed against the town when a white police officer who was pursuing a white suspect ran up to Johnson, drew a gun and threw him first onto the snow-covered ground. Arlington, Massachusetts, and claimed three of his officers.

At one point, the officer pinned Johnson to the ground by placing his knee on Johnson’s neck, according to the complaint. The white suspect was pursued by police but was “left alone.”

The lawsuit, filed in Boston federal court, alleges that police violated Johnson’s constitutional rights by stopping him, searching him, handcuffing him, putting him in the backseat of a cruiser, and then releasing him without charge. is doing.

In an interview, Johnson said the incident had taken a very emotional toll on him and he struggled to manage his daily life to the point of losing his job as a hospital grant manager.

“I was wrongfully arrested and wrongfully searched just because I thought he was following me,” Johnson said.

Arlington Police Chief Julie Flaherty said in an email that police could not comment because neither the police nor the town had received a complaint.

Johnson’s attorneys say an internal investigation found officers violated several departmental policies and procedures. He said he hopes the incident will bring about systemic change to root out racial profiling practices within the department.

“Everyone should feel safe in their own community. Mr Johnson’s rights were violated right in front of his home.

Police were initially called to an Arlington hotel, where staff believed the man had previously been involved in the theft of a television, according to the complaint. The white man was “known to the police” for “previous criminal activity.” When officers arrived at the hotel, Officer Stephen Conroy showed a photo of the man to the front desk clerk.

According to the complaint, police went to the room to search, but the man fled and began chasing him. Johnson, who was approaching Somerville’s house, saw the men jogging before Conroy approached and yelled at both men to “drop (expletive) on the floor.”

The white suspect knelt while Johnson remained standing, the lawsuit states. Johnson then says Conroy pulled out a gun and threw it to the ground, pinning his knee to his neck.

According to the complaint, another officer who had arrived on the cruiser recognized the white man and handcuffed him, and the suspect told the officer he did not know Johnson. “I jumped on it,” and helped Conroy hold John down.

Johnson’s attorneys say officers had no reason to believe Johnson was involved in any crime. Police had a photo of the white suspect they were looking for. male suspects were shown to be involved,” the lawsuit states.

According to the complaint, Johnson was released at the hotel after hotel staff told him he had never seen a police officer. Police left him to find his way home, the lawsuit states.