Date of incident: August 22 – 23, 2017
Time of incident: approximately 11:30 p.m.
Nate went to the grocery store and returned to his apartment complex. What was an ordinary errand on a late summer evening turned into an extraordinary ordeal for this young Black man.
As I entered the back entrance of my apartment complex, in passing I saw a police SUV and another police car with their lights on. I pulled right in, music playing. I got out of my car. Then my neighbor in a white van pulled right in behind me. I parked my car, got out and started walking towards my apartment.
Next the police SUV drove their vehicle up to me. The officer asked me “you know anything about a stolen car?” I said I didn’t know. He asked me for my name and where I live and where I was coming from. I told him “Nate”. He asked which unit I live at and I pointed to the direction of where my apartment is located. He asked which car was mine and I showed him where my car was located. He asked if I just pulled in and I said yes. He said it would take just a minute to get me cleared.
According to the video, he then asked dispatch for a description of the suspect. Before he got the full description he asked if I have shorts on underneath my sweatpants. The dispatch lady said “heavy set, black male in his early twenties, wearing jean shorts….also had a black zip-up jacket over it.”
He then placed me in handcuffs to detain me. He dispatched in saying he was with the possible suspect. I told him I had just pulled up and he said it was just for precaution. I told him I stopped for him when I could’ve just kept walking into my apartment. I asked him if he needed ID and he said “nope, don’t need an ID.” He dispatched in that he had one detained.
I asked if my girlfriend could bring my ID out. He said if it’s not me, it’s no big deal. I said if you’re looking for a stolen car, my car isn’t stolen.
He then searched me and asked if I had anything crazy on me. He wanted to take me to another parking lot. I refused and asked him to call his sergeant. I also called for my girlfriend to come out. I told him I didn’t want to be taken to a crime scene and that I could call my girlfriend and she would come out.
He asked if I just came out of my van and I said yes me and the other van just came up. He said I had a black zip-up. I asked for further information about the suspect – how long is his hair?
Officer Heinemann then came upon the scene. She was very aggressive and then both of them tried to get me into the car. I again asked to call my girlfriend and for them to call the sergeant. I did not want to be taken from the parking lot I was currently in.
Heinemann then said “I am ordering you to get up in the squad car. At this point you are under arrest for interference with official acts.” I said “I’m sorry, miss I don’t care. I don’t got anything to do with that. I want your sergeant.” I then hit the lock on my key fab so they could hear the beep. I said “what the fuck would I steal a car for? I live right here. You have me on the ground.” They said I threw myself on the ground and that I’m acting like an idiot.
Other people came near us and I encouraged them to record what was going on. He then said he would need to detain me. I asked why and he said he needed to make sure I didn’t fit the description. He searched me and handcuffed me. He said he needed to take me over to the Meadows (another apartment complex nearby) to see if I fit the description. I told him I wasn’t going anywhere.
I told Officer Dee to get my girlfriend out of apartment 304 and I wanted a sergeant and then I would go with him. One of my neighbors went to get my girlfriend.
Officer Dee continued to try and get me in the cop car. I insisted that I wanted my girlfriend. He said “no you have to go now” and he pulled my arms back and tried to lift me into the car. I straightened my body so I wouldn’t fit into the door and he radioed to Officer Heinemann. Heinemann arrived about a minute later and she got out of the car, went straight for my arm and tried to throw me into the cop car. I stiffed up and insisted again that I wanted the sergeant before I go into the cop car.
After I said that, she said, “I know you ran from me” and slammed me on the ground. I said “I didn’t. I just pulled up. You can ask my neighbors.” She said “I know it’s you. You jumped out. I saw you. It’s him [to Officer Dee]. He did it. I just want to take you over here and check the camera.” I said why can’t you do that here? She said “I know it’s you and we’re going to book you anyway.”
For approximately 30 minutes I was on the ground and Officer Dee was sitting on top of me.
They kept me on the ground until they heard the sergeant was coming. They lifted me off the ground and set me up on the back tire.
When the sergeant came, he was calm and I told him my story. I told him I live here.
They walked off and 5 minutes later Officer Dee came back to me, lifted me off the tire/ground, unhooked the handcuffs. He said “what’s your name again? What’s your apartment number again? If there’s anything else, we’ll come back to ya.”
I asked them if they thought this was right what they did to me and I got the badge numbers and names of the officers.