A Texas couple is suing Rosenberg police because they falsely arrested them instead of the group of teenagers they were after, according to records obtained by VICE News. Though they let them go, they held them at gunpoint, handcuffed them and destroyed some of their belongings in the process.
Michael Lewis, 67, and Regina Armstead, 57, were picking up some food when three cop cars put their lights on behind them. According to VICE, the police were after a group of Black teens who were allegedly flashing their guns. Both groups were driving a white vehicle, however, the cops pulled over the wrong one.
Read more about the case from VICE News:
Only after officers realized there weren’t any weapons or contraband in the vehicle were the restraints removed and the couple was allowed to leave the scene. When they asked what the stop was for, the cops said they’d been searching for three young men who had been “driving around and shooting at kids.” The items that were confiscated by the cops were returned hours later, but the fob used to start the car had been destroyed.
Lewis had to get three medical procedures to replace the fistula in his wrist, causing “prolonged pain and suffering,” the lawsuit says.
“Ever since they pulled us over that night with all those guns and stuff, we can’t even stand to drive down that street,” Lewis told VICE News. “We go the other way around because they might stop us again.”
The two were thorough when filing the suit, including nearly 30 civilian complaints against that department for stopping and searching folks without cause, per VICE. The report also says the couple are suing for violation of the American Disabilities Act for ignoring Lewis’ disability and violating the Fourth Amendment.
Despite the amount of times police violated their department policies and codes of conduct, they weren’t disciplined. Unfortunately, this issue spans across the country. Just recently, a Black man was profiled in place of a white suspect. Situations like these should be enough to prove police don’t give a damn about Black people.