STOCKTON, Calif. — Flanked by images of a badly bruised and beaten face, the parents of 17-year old Devin Carter, along with community and church leaders, held a news conference on the steps of Stockton City Hall.
"I would have never in my life known or thought that my son would have been pulled over, pulled out of a vehicle, and brutally beaten," Devin's father, George Carter, said.
"There are no words to articulate the terror that we're experiencing for our son," Devin's mother, Jessica Carter, said.
It happened on Dec. 30, 2020, a Wednesday, just before 8:30 p.m. Devin was driving on 8 Mile Road at Davis Road in North Stockton when he was pulled over by Stockton Police for speeding.
According to police, the teen was driving "erratically and speeding in excess of 100 miles per hour." It became a "three-minute pursuit" with one patrol car colliding with another car that tried to avoid the chase.
Eventually, the teen's car was stopped by police, and "four officers used force during the arrest." Devin was taken to the hospital and booked into juvenile hall for "evading and resisting arrest."
"The Carter family joins a long list of families who did not ask for this wickedness to visit their household," said Mike McBride, pastor at The Way Church in Berkeley.
"He helped teach my kids how to read. He helped teach my kids math. Everything you want in a son Devin is," said Richard Black, who was one of Carter's former teachers at Stockton's Brookside Christian School.
Attorney John Burris, who represented Rodney King in his civil suit against the LAPD, represents the Carter family. He filed a civil suit and plans to file a federal lawsuit against the city and the police in part for an alleged "pattern of misconduct" and "abuse of force."
"There was a footprint on his back which can not and can only illustrate for me that they had a sense that this type of conduct is condoned," Burris said.
In a statement on Facebook, Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones wrote:
"I am deeply concerned about this incident and that is why we immediately launched an internal investigation. Our department will continue to focus on our own accountability and professionalism. All four involved officers have been placed on administrative leave. The City Manager’s Review Board, which began its examination of the Stockton Police Department’s use of force data in October of 2020, will continue their analysis in order to make meaningful changes to policing in Stockton. We, as an organization, hold the trust of the community paramount and will continue to strive to exemplify our core values."
Burris announced demands he wants on behalf of the Carter family including dropping the charges, the release of any body cam or dashcam video of the incident, and a protocol investigation.
Continue the conversation with Kurt on Facebook.