In a rare move, two former California police officers were indicted on felony charges Friday (September 17) over the beating of a Black teenager.
Former Stockton officers Michael Stiles and Omar Villapudua were both charged with two counts of assault, one under the color of authority for the December 2020 assault of Devin Carter, a Black teenager, San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said, the Los Angeles Times reported.
A grand jury indicted the officers on the charges, accusing the officers of leaving Carter, who was 17 at the time, with two black eyes and what appeared to be an imprint of one of the officers' boot on the teen's face.
John Burris, a civil rights attorney representing Carter compared the teen's beating to that of one his other clients, Rodney King.
"These vicious cops acted like a pack of wolves, and Devin was their evening meal. I have not seen a police officer beating this outrageous since my former client Rodney King was beaten by LAPD officers back in March of 1991," Burris said in a statement release prior the grand jury's decision.
Carter was pursued by officers on December 30, 2020 after police say the teen was driving recklessly and breaking the speed limit. Carter's car was stop using a PIT maneuver in which they used their police vehicle to hit the side of his, causing it to spin out.
Body camera footage from the incident shows officers slamming Carter to the ground after pulling him from the vehicle.
"I'm not resisting," Carter yells in the video. "Yes you are," one of the officers replies in the footage, which also shows multiple officers hitting and kicking the teen as he's curled on the ground.
Four officers were involved in the beating but the grand jury declined to charge two of them. Stiles and Villapudua were fired from the police department earlier this year. The other officers remain on administrative leave but are set to return to active duty, Stockton Police Department spokesperson Joseph Silva said.
Salazar is reportedly requesting the transcript of the court proceeding before it's released to the public. It's unclear why the jury declined charges for two of the officers.
Carter says he's worried about getting pulled over by the officers who weren't charged and still feels "panic" while driving.
"It just scares me," he said.
The local police union posted to its Facebook page stating that "strongly disagreed" with the indictment of the two former officers.
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