Columbia Police Face Action over "Excessive Force"
COLUMBIA - Lawyer Stephen Wyse said Wednesday he plans to file suit against the Columbia Police following a case Wyse said involved excessive force and use of weapons. Columbia resident Josh Williams said he and another man, Phillip Porter, were approached by police on October 13 at Cosmo Park. Williams said he and Porter were listening to music and drinking a beer when the police arrived shortly before noon. Williams said the police started talking to him but he couldn't hear them over the music. He reached to turn down the dial in order to hear what they said, and that's when Williams said the officers pulled out their guns.
Williams said the officers asked him if there were any drugs or weapons in the car. He said he told them he did not have any drugs, but did have a registered 40-caliber handgun. Williams said the police accused him of being a felon, but Williams said he denied ever committing a felony. Willams said the officers then handcuffed both him and Porter. Williams said, as the officers were applying the handcuffs, he told them he had previously had surgery on his left wrist. He said the officer then tightened the handcuff on that wrist excessively- much tighter than on the other wrist.
Williams said police eventually let both of them go. He said they found no felony charges or convictions against Williams.
Wyse said he will file a federal lawsuit against the police. Wyse said the two men did nothing wrong by hanging out at the park and listening to music. He believes that because the two men are African American, that the officers racially profiled the men.
Columbia Police said since the internal investigation is not complete, they will not comment.