Brian Chaney says a Keego Harbor police officer announced he was going to search him–simply because he was taking an early-morning walk after dropping his sons off at a nearby gym.
A Black man has filed a $10 million lawsuit against a police department in Metro Detroit, claiming he was accosted and wrongfully arrested by an officer while taking a recreational walk down a commercial road.
According to The Detroit Free Press, the lawsuit was filed by 48-year-old Brian Chaney.
In his complaint, Chaney claims that Keego Harbor Police Officer Richard Lindquist called him a “dog,” then detained him for 20 minutes.
Chaney says he was only released after he asked, “What are you going to do next, put your knee into my neck?”
Chaney’s remark, notes the Free Press, appears to have been a reference to the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who was murdered by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. Floyd—who had been suspected of paying for a pack of cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill—died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for an extended period of time.
“I would hope that it was a reality check for those officers,” Chaney said in a Wednesday statement. “I hate that I had to say that, though. I went from being scared to just really angry. I’m cuffed like an animal for walking, drinking my coffee.”
Chaney, adds the Detroit Free Press, says he was walking for exercise after dropping his two teenage sons off at a Keego Harbor gym.
While he walking, Chaney claims that Lindquist pulled up behind him in a police cruiser, ordering him to take his hands out of his pockets.
Lindquist then allegedly told Chaney that he was going to search him.
“I’m going to frisk you because you look like you have a weapon and were going to break into cars,” Lindquist purportedly said.
Chaney, adds the lawsuit, only noticed one other car on his walk, parked farther down the street at another coffee shop.
“When I first saw him, I ignored him. I was simply on a walk,” Chaney said in a press conference. “I’m just in a good mood. I’m in a good space. It didn’t cause anxiety, initially. It caused anxiety when he was behind me yelling and I didn’t know he pulled up behind me. I have on headphones. I don’t know what he’s saying to me. He’s screaming at me, running back to his car. I was afraid I was going to get shot. I just didn’t know.”
Lindquist then physically attacked Chaney, shoving him from behind and pushing him against his squad car.
While Lindquist was handcuffing Chaney and radioing for backup, he allegedly called the 48-year-old father a “dog.”
Leonard Mungo, an attorney representing Chaney, said the lawsuit is about more than damages—it is about sending a message to law enforcement.
“These cities have to come to grips with the fact that their men and women who are out there doing a job that requires a lot more training, care and feeding than what these departments are providing these ladies and gentlemen,” Mungo said.