TROY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama woman who accused police officers of severely beating her disabled son then withholding video of the alleged attack is suing five officers for unlawful arrest and excessive use of force.
Angela Williams announced her federal lawsuit with attorney Julian McPhillips on Monday, news outlets reported. She says her son, Ulysses Wilkerson, was 17 at the time he had one hand cuffed as Troy officers kicked him in the face. Wilkerson was walking behind businesses in December 2017 when he saw law enforcement and ran, family members have said.
Officers caught up to him and beat him, Williams alleges.
Wilkerson reached toward his waistband for what officers feared was a weapon, Pike County District Attorney Tom Anderson argued.
Wilkerson’s face was bruised and bloodied, with severe swelling to his eye socket and jaw, photos taken shortly after the attack show. He was charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest and obstruction.
At the time, Troy’s mayor said he asked for the state Law Enforcement Agency to review the incident. A jury declined to indict four unnamed officers following the investigation, the Troy Messenger reported.
Williams said she tried for months afterward to obtain video from the incident, but the department repeatedly blocked her.
“If they could show us he was, you know, causing it all or fighting at all then you know we probably never would have pursued this case,” she said Monday. “If the beating was justified, why not show the bodycam or dashcam videos?” she added.
The police department hasn’t publicly responded.