Inmate says Charleston officers used racial slurs, excess force

By Robert Hadley | Nov 24, 2015

CHARLESTON – An Ohio County Correctional Complex inmate says Charleston police officers harassed him with racial epithets and manhandled him during two arrests.

Steven Jerome Lee filed against Charleston Mayor Danny Jones, Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster, Lt. Shawn Williams and Officer Brian Lightner in Kanawha Circuit Court, citing battery and excessive force.

According to the complaint, Lee claims he was publicly harassed by Williams and Lightner and arrested on April 6 and May 5 of 2014. Lee claims the first arrest sent him to the hospital with an anxiety attack.

The plaintiff also claims the officers used excessive force during the second arrest, dislocating his shoulder and wrist and damaging his right hip. During both incidents, Lee claims the officers used racial slurs and death threats to intimidate him.

Claiming mental anguish and medical expenses, Lee seeks damages of $25,000 as compensation for the alleged assault and racial discrimination. Lee is representing himself in the case.

Earlier this year, Williams resigned from the Charleston Police Department after being accused of making racial videos on his personal computer. He had been on administrative leave since last September.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 15-C-1626

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