Cortez Bufford, 18, was on the ground, surrounded by St. Louis cops, after a traffic stop in April 2014 when one of them, Kelli Swinton, reportedly told her fellow officers: "Hold up. Hold up, y'all. Hold up. Hold up, everybody, hold up. We're red right now, so if you guys are worried about cameras, just wait."
Officer Swinton then allegedly turned off the police dash cam. Four St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers now face a lawsuit filed by Bufford, who claims that cops used excessive force, including kicking and using a Taser on him, according to the Daily Mail.
Joel Schwartz, Bufford's attorney, said the teen was left with abrasions on his face and back and several hospital bills.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Swinton may face disciplinary actions in connection with the dash cam being turned off.
The dash-cam video footage from the incident was released sometime after the April 10 incident, delayed further by the city's concerns following the August killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer, the Daily Mail reports.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Bufford was stopped by police after he reportedly made an illegal U-turn. The police report indicates that Bufford "abruptly parked" after making the U-turn, but the Post-Dispatch reports that the dash-cam footage shows Bufford parking normally.
The police report also indicates that during the stop, cops noticed marijuana and baggies in the car. The Post-Dispatch reports that police asked Bufford and Bufford's passenger to get out of the car; the passenger did, but Bufford reportedly refused. Officers then took Bufford out of the car and put him on the ground, where police say he reached for a gun.
The teen was then reportedly hit with what police in their report called "foot strikes," which resemble kicks. Bufford can be heard yelling, "I can't move" after reportedly having a Taser used on him.
The Post-Dispatch reports that police say they found a "semi-automatic pistol in the car."
On the video, as more cops arrive, a voice, which the Post-Dispatch identifies as belonging to Officer Swinton, can be heard suggesting that the dash cam be turned off. The screen then goes blank.
Because the camera was turned off, all charges against Bufford—a felony charge of unlawful use of a weapon and the misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest—have been dropped, and the Daily Mail reports that the teen is "seeking an undisclosed amount in damages in a lawsuit expected to be settled in the fall."