GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — A Michigan man has filed a federal lawsuit after two law enforcement officials beat him unconscious in a case of mistaken identity two years ago.
James King was walking to his summer job in July of 2014 when FBI agent Douglas Brownback and Grand Rapids detective Todd Allen approached him, reported the New York Daily News, citing the lawsuit.
The officers thought the 23-year-old student matched the vague description of a home invasion suspect. The lawsuit alleges that Brownback and Allen, who were operating undercover, didn't identify themselves as law enforcement at the time, reported the New York Daily News.
King didn't notice their badges on lanyards and thought he was being mugged when Brownback took his wallet. So he tried to flee, and the two officers reportedly tackled him to the ground.
Allen then allegedly put King in a chokehold that made him unconscious, reported the New York Daily News, citing the lawsuit.
King soon woke up and reportedly bit Allen's arm. It's here that the detective reportedly says he started hitting King "as fast and as hard as he could, as many times as he could."
Concerned bypassers called 911, but responding officers allegedly convinced witnesses to delete footage of the beatdown from their phones because undercover cops were present.
The guy they were after, home invasion suspect Aaron Davison, was eventually caught, but the authorities involved offered no apology to King for this case of mistaken identity.
Instead, they slapped King with three felonies — including assaulting a police officer — and pursued prosecution against him. The jury in that case later cleared him off all charges.