Two Tennessee deputies have been suspended after dashcam video shows them performing cavity search on side of road.
The Hamilton County sheriff’s deputies said they pulled over a car for tinted windows Wednesday, only to smell marijuana inside.
Deputies Bobby Brewer and Daniel Wilkey said the man in the passenger seat admitted to smoking a joint. Upon searching him, they found “a small bag of marijuana”.
The deputies claim the man, James Myron Mitchell, became “combative” during the search.
In the video one of the deputies can be seen squeezing and grab a Mitchell’s crotch repeatedly until he flinches in pain and protests.
At which point Mitchell is pulled off camera. The police put Mitchell back on the car and in sight of the camera he is held down while one of them removes his pants and probes his anal cavity. This takes place on the side of the road in sight of passing cars and the man’s female companion who was sitting on the ground, handcuffed.
The deputies claim they found 1.6 grams of crack cocaine in addition to the bag of weed with a combined street value of less than $100.
Deputy Wilkey claimed in his report that he felt a “hard object” around Mitchell’s crotch, which made him fear for his life.
According to the Times Free Press:
During the traffic stop, Wilkey said, he asked the driver, Latisha Menifee, and Mitchell if there was any marijuana in the vehicle. Mitchell said he had smoked a joint before being stopped, the criminal affidavit says. Deputies Wilkey and Brewer found a “small bag of marijuana” in a pocket of Mitchell’s pants, the affidavit says.
Wilkey said Mitchell began to “get combative” and attempted to grab the marijuana, which deputies had placed on the hood of the Buick. Deputies said they began to handcuff and detain Mitchell to continue searching him, “however as I was doing so, Mr. Mitchell began pulling away from me.”
Wilkey wrote in the affidavit that he felt a “hard object” around Mitchell’s crotch and that Mitchell kept trying to reach into his pants against orders.
“Not knowing whether it was a weapon or narcotics,” the deputy wrote that he delivered a “knee strike” to Mitchell’s upper thigh. He then pulled Mitchell to the ground. Once on the ground, Wilkey said Mitchell tried to kick at the deputies, so they delivered “several more closed fist strikes” to his upper thigh and buttocks.
The hard object was never identified but Mitchell was charged with felony drug possession, tampering with evidence and resisting arrest. But it appears as if those charges will be dismissed by Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston who called for the investigation on the deputies after viewing the video.
According to the Times Free Press Deputy Wilkey has been involved in two previous lawsuits over incidents when he was a Rhea County sheriff’s deputy.
In the first incident, he was sued for killing a man named Steven Lee “Buddy” Howell by shooting him in the head at point-blank range after they had detained him inside a hospital. That case was settled out of court.
The second lawsuit was filed Tuesday, the day before this incident, and sounds very similar to what took place in this incident.
A man named William Eugene Klaven was pulled over for having dark tints but was then ordered out of the car which was when Wikley asked to search the car. When Klaven refused the request, Wilkey called over a K9 unit to sniff for drugs which were not found.
Klaven says he denied the search but was detained illegally until K-9 dogs from the Soddy-Daisy Police Department could make it to the scene to sniff for drugs.
Klaven wrote that Wilkey and other officers tried to manufacture a positive result but found nothing in his vehicle. Klaven does not indicate whether he was arrested but wrote that he went to court, never saw his name on the docket and learned a citation had not been filed.
Had he not videoed the incidents, Klaven wrote, he is not sure what would have happened.
Watch the edited video above and the raw unedited video here: