A Tennessee police officer allegedly beat a Black man and subjected him to a full-body cavity search on the side of the road earlier this year after he accused him of driving with tinted windows, officials say, reports the Grio.
The officer has now been indicted on rape, sexual battery, false imprisonment, obstruction, and many other charges – totaling 44 criminal counts. Hamilton County Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Wilkey, 26, who has been out on paid administrative leave since the July 10 incident, was officially arrested on Tuesday on numerous charges against James Mitchell and several other people, according to VICE.
According to a civil lawsuit Mitchell filed against Wilkey, Hamilton County and Deputy Bobby Brewer. Wilkey pulled Mitchell over for tinted windows and because he smelled of marijuana. He forced Mitchell and his girlfriend to exit the vehicle and then shortly after, Wilkey handcuffed Mitchell and began to search him. Mitchell told Wilkey that he had a large hernia that was untreated and said he was in pain, which allegedly caused Wilkey and Brewer to beat Mitchell with “fists, knees and feet,” according to the civil suit.
Mitchell goes on to detail how Wilkey removed his pants, bent him over the hood of his car and “conducted an anal cavity search” on the side of the road, without his consent, according to VICE. Mitchell’s girlfriend was forced to watch, according to the suit, and was afraid that they would kill Mitchell. Wilkey and Brewer booked Mitchell on resisting arrest and other charges, which were later dismissed.
Mitchell underwent surgery at a local hospital for the irritated hernia and he was also treated for tears in his anus. The incident, which sparked community protest, was caught on Wilkey’s dash-camera. It was referred to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for further investigation, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The bureau’s findings were sent to the Hamilton County District Attorney General, which brought about Tuesday’s indictment, the Free Press reported.