Prosecutors have opted to dismiss several charges against the Chattanooga man who was filmed getting beatdown by police in a viral video.
According to the Times Free Press, Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Alan Dunn confirmed the state’s decision to dismiss charges of assault, resisting arrest and tampering with evidence, against Charles Toney Jr. The order was signed by Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Lila Statom.
The charges stemmed from a December 3rd altercation in which Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office detective Blake Kilpatrick was caught on video kicking and punching the 25-year-old while he lay handcuffed on the ground.
According to court records, Kilpatrick and a group of other officers originally spotted Toney outside a home in East Ridge during a warrant roundup. The officers claim they simply planned to arrest the young man for a 2017 drug possession case for which he had been indicted by a grand jury. But allege that when he saw them approaching, he quickly flicked away a marijuana cigar, and then things escalated from there.
Toney not only denies the claim about the marijuana he also alleges that the detectives approached him with guns drawn, called him by his rapper stage name, “Interstate Tax,” and then informed him that they hated his music before they began punching him.
Officers denied these allegations and contend that Toney spat on them while they had him pinned to the ground. But the arrest affidavit admits they were never able to find the marijuana they said he had in his possession.
Kilpatrick is now on modified desk duty and is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
In reference to the dismissal of the charges, Melydia Clewell, a spokeswoman for the district attorneys office, clarified in an email, “generally speaking, the overwhelming majority of cases we dismiss are those in which there’s not enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Toney has announced plans to file a civil lawsuit about this incident but will appear for his drug possession case, which is separate, on February 5th.
MIDDAY REPORT: The criminal charges against Charles Toney, also known as rapper 'Interstate Tax,' have been dropped. This is the latest news after a viral video shows Toney being punched and kicked by a Hamilton County Sheriff's detective. https://t.co/c42Kzdzed0 pic.twitter.com/ChCGM685eF
— Aaron Farrar (@aaronfarrarNC9) December 18, 2018