Lawsuit: Chattanooga PD officer assaulted, arrested man he mistook for suspect

A lawsuit claims a Chattanooga Police officer mistook a man for a suspect, hitting him with a stun gun, pointing a firearm at him, and falsely arresting him.

A lawsuit alleges a Chattanooga Police officer mistook a man for a suspect, hitting him with a stun gun, pointing a firearm at him, and falsely arresting him.

On Wednesday, we spoke with the man's attorney, Robin Flores, who says this is another case that shows CPD officers using excessive force.

Flores says Officer Cody Thomas assaulted and falsely arrested his client, Nate Carter, but police reports tell a different story.

Body camera footage shows a CPD officer hitting a man with a stun gun as he walks away.

According to Chattanooga Police, Officer Thomas was called to Vance Avenue on April 13th, 2018 after a neighbor called 911, saying a man named Polo was waving a gun around.

The police affidavit says Officer Thomas thought Nate Carter met the suspect description.

Flores says the officer's actions were unlawful.

The lawsuit alleges that Officer Thomas conducted an unreasonable seizure, used excessive force,authorized a false report and more. You can read the lawsuit below.

"As the complainant is coming out he has his two children in front of him," says Flores, describing the video, "The defendant officer has his firearm pointed at the plaintiff, while the two children are in the line of fire."

The lawsuit calls asks for a total of $3 million dollars in damages.

A CPD spokesperson says internal affairs conducted an investigation, resulting in Officer Thomas' suspension for 80 hours in November of 2018.

This isn't the first time this officer's actions have been questioned. Flores says he filed another suit against Thomas that states he used excessive force and conducted an unreasonable seizure on another man two months before this incident. All of the charges against Carter were dismissed.

Several members of the community have called for a citizen's oversight committee. Members appointed by city council would review questionable law enforcement actions.

Chattanooga's City Council has been discussing the development of the oversight committee for several weeks.

At this point there has been no official vote.

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