After getting Tased in the back, Wilhite said, "My pee was blacker than me!"
-- the 33-year-old who claims a pair of cops from the Bellefontaine Neighbors Department Tased him and dumped him on the East Side in the middle of the night -- just won a $90,000 settlement in federal court yesterday.
"I know people oftentimes people don't believe police do anything that would be considered a violation of people's civil rights," said Wilhite's attorney, J. Justin Meehan
. "But [a police department] doesn't pay ninety thousand dollars for nothing."
Wilhite took the matter to court because he claimed to have suffered kidney trauma from the 2009 beatdown, telling Daily RFT
right after the incident: "My pee was blacker than me!" (Read the complaint here
)Lt. Tom Sheehan
, who handled the matter for Bellefontaine Neighbors Police, is currently on vacation and could not be reached for comment.
Here's some background from former staff writer Kristen Hinman
's original 2009 blog post
and his longtime girlfriend Keishawn Randolph say they had an argument
in their Odessa Drive driveway on the night of May 2, 2009, and that
neighbors called police.
Wilhite, who is on a five-year probation
for marijuana distribution, took off running. An hour or so later, he
says, a Bellefontaine Neighbors police officer apprehended him in a
neighbor's yard. Around the time of the alleged incident, Wilhite showed
Daily RFT scar marks and bruises he says stemmed from the officer beating him in the yard.
"He tried to put the Taser in my mouth, and when I wouldn't let him, he Tased me in the back."
says he was hauled to the Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department but
not arrested. Soon after arriving there, he says, the officer loaded
him back into the car and proceeded to drive him, on I-270, into the
state of Illinois. Wilhite says the officer pushed him out of the car
next to a viaduct in Granite City.
Wilhite says he then stumbled
half a mile or so to a Waffle House and lay on the floor there until a
relative was able to pick him up.
Wilhite tells RFT he did not
plan to report the incident to police. But he was startled by what he
saw when he went to the bathroom the next morning. "My pee was blacker
than me!" he exclaims.
Hospital records show Wilhite spent the next four days in Christian Hospital being treated for kidney trauma.
been shot in the leg, stabbed in the stomach, but never did no police
beat me up," Wilhite says, explaining why he eventually decided to
report the incident to police.
Wilhite grew up in Walnut Park. He
says he has done eighteen months in a state prison for second-degree
assault. He says he does odd jobs and hauling.
"It was a silly
argument," he says of the incident with his girlfriend. "It wasn't
violent. I didn't do anything wrong. I ran because I ain't never been on
the winning side of things with the police."