News One is reporting that Georgia teen Montré Merritt has filed a $12.5 million lawsuit alleging police brutality and excessive force over a seatbelt violation. The author writes:
“Georgia teenager Montré Merritt has filed a $12.5 million lawsuit against the city of Waycross alleging that he was wrongfully arrested and brutalized at the hands of Waycross police officer Cory Gay. According to Merritt, earlier this year after pulling into his family’s driveway he was approached by Gay. At some point in the encounter Merritt ended up facedown on the ground with a gun to his head. When his mother came outside to see what was happening, she was told her son was being arrested for a seatbelt violation.”
D.L. Chandler of HipHopWired writes:
“On Jan. 18, Merritt was pulling into his home driveway when Waycross Officer Cory Gay stopped him for the violation. Gay drew his service weapon on Merritt and forced him to the ground despite protests by his mother. Although Gay was found guilty of using excessive force, suspended five days without pay and forced to take a course on Use Of Force, the family felt that it wasn’t a strong enough punishment.”
At the time of the incident, Meritt was an honor athlete with a 3.5 gpa. Merritt’s lawyer, Reginald Greene, has filed the lawsuit based on accusations that Gay racially profiled his client, used excessive force and negligent supervision among other reasons.