A young Michigan man has accused police of using excessive force during a 2016 arrest outside his home for allegedly failing to use his turn signal. Now he is taking officers to court over the incident.
Cody Meredith was just 18 years old when he says officers followed him home on an early morning in March. His routine drive home ended with him in the back of a Taylor police car with several injuries from his arrest, ClickOnDetroit reported.
“Somebody I expected to protect me basically didn’t protect me,” Meredith said.
The incident unfolded March 29, 2016, when Taylor police officers spotted Meredith heading home around 2:30 a.m. According to their report, the young man “braked heavily” to avoid running a stop sign and proceeded to drive 10 mph over the speed limit. Meredith, who was just blocks from his residence, then turned into his driveway without using a turn signal.
That’s when officers turned on their lights and approached the teen. He was already out of his car by this time.
What happened next is the core of Meredith’s federal lawsuit.
“Oh s—, get back in the car man!” one of the officers shouts at the teen in the dash cam footage, which began rolling the moment officers turned on their lights. The officers then rushed the young man when he didn’t get back in the car.
“Where you guys coming from? Get up off me,” Meredith says in the video.
An altercation ensued, as video of the incident showed officers fighting with the young man on the ground. One of the officers is seen punching the then-teen several times as he yells out for his mother. Meredith also said he was Tasered twice, as well as choked, kicked, and beaten by the officers.
“At that point, in my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Why did I get stopped?'” he said in an interview with ClickOnDetroit. “Why did I get followed home when they could have pulled me over before I got to my home?”
Meredith’s attorney, Amir Mackled, pointed out the officers’ use of force in the video, describing what he saw as “outrageous conduct.”
“They still haven’t told him what he did wrong,” Mackled said. ” … Totally against the policy and procedure of any law enforcement agency.”
Taylor PD has defended the actions of its officers, claiming Meredith resisted arrest which led to the brutal takedown. In the video, one of the officers tells the teen to, “Shut the f— up you piece of s—” and claims there’s warrant for his arrest. They soon realized they had the wrong guy, however, as there were no outstanding warrants against Meredith.
According to ClickOnDetroit, cops did find a small bag of marijuana in the young man’s car when they searched it. Meredith was charged with drug possession, as well as two counts of assaulting a police officer. The former charge was ultimately dropped because Meredith had a medical marijuana card.
“They had no right to go into the vehicle,” Makled argued.
“Every time I go to the house I pull up and I look at that little spot and I remember every little thing and how it happened,” said Meredith.
He continued, “It’s not a place I like to be. I don’t call it home anymore. Your home is where you’re supposed to feel safe. I don’t feel safe there.”
Meredith’s lawsuit seeks more than $70,000 in damages for the incident he feels was escalated by police. It’s unclear if the officers involved have been disciplined.