Two officers from the Stockton Police Department were indicted on charges after the beating of Devin Carter, a Black teen.
A San Joaquin County Grand Jury indicted former police officers Michael Stiles and Omar Villapudua on charges that include felony assault by a public officer and assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, reported CBS San Fransisco. The officers were fired from the Stockton Police Department in March after an internal investigation found that they both used excessive force against Carter, 17.
District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar reiterated the importance of trust between officers and the communities they serve and was clear that Stiles and Villapudua’s actions were unacceptable.
“This grand jury indictment reminds us all that when police use unlawful force, they undermine community trust,” Salazar said in a statement.
Carter was driving to his father’s home when he was stopped by the two officers on Dec. 30. Officers claim that he was driving 100 miles per hour and led them on a chase for about three minutes.
Bodycam footage showed the officers pulling Carter out of the car, berating him and telling him to stop resisting. In the video, Carter could be heard screaming in pain and saying that he was not resisting.
Multiple officers began beating Carter by kneeing, punching and kicking the teen as he lay in the fetal position. He was beaten so brutally that one of the officer’s boot prints could be seen imprinted in the side of his face.
After he was beaten, Carter was treated at a hospital and then booked into a juvenile unit for resisting arrest.
John Burris, the lawyer representing Carter, also won a $3.8 million dollar judgment against the Los Angeles Police Department after the beating of Rodney King in 1991. Carter and his family have a federal lawsuit pending.
The indictment is a small victory in a situation that could have gone either way in light of the propensity of courts to allow brutal officers to evade accountability.