Only On 11: Toledo man accuses officers of violating his civil rights

Only On 11: Toledo man accuses officers of violating his civil rights

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Police are now investigating a Toledo man's accusation that three officers violated his civil rights.

"He got his gun out and everything, look at him."

Cell phone video captured the whole encounter on camera. It's that video that is now at the center of an internal affairs investigation.

A run in with police on March 5 along Airport Highway in Swanton is what Lamar Wright will never forget.

"At that time, at any moment my life could have been ended," said Wright.

He says he was sitting inside of his parked car outside of his family owned auto lot waiting for a friend to bring him a key so he could get in when suddenly nearly a dozen officers showed up with their weapons drawn.

For several minutes, Wright claims he and his three passengers were held at gunpoint and were even put in handcuffs without any explanation from the officers.

"(Why do you think he pulled his gun out on you?) I can't tell you why, he had enough back up there, we didn't pose a threat, we were all dressed like we were going to church, in broad daylight," said Wright.

WTOL 11 learned that it was a call to 911 about a possible burglary in progress at the auto lot that promoted the quick response by officers from three different agencies, including the Port Authority and the Lucas County Sheriff's Office.

"This is legit crazy. I ain't never seen anything like this in my life," said a passenger of Wright's.

Wright says the officers' aggressive actions and failure to sufficiently investigate the situation violated their civil rights.

"I feel like if we were a different color in that car that day, it would not have played out that way," said Wright.

One of the three officers Wright filed a complaint against is a veteran officer with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

"I know the officer, he has worked for us for 23, 24 years. He has been a police officer for 30 years. We have never had a discipline issue with this officer. In my heart I can tell you I don't think this had anything to do with race or anything else," said Paul L. Toth, Jr., President and CEO of the Toledo Lucas County Port Authority. "(Do you think that officers action were justifiable?) As someone not in law enforcement and certainly not understanding all of the situation, it's hard for me to make a judgment and I think it's unfair for anyone to make a judgment on whether that was justifiable."

Port Authority leaders say they will let the internal affairs investigation decided if there was any wrong doing.

"I can tell you that we are concerned about this, and we are going to make sure we see it through to the end," said Toth. "If there is improper activity going on we will make sure that this officer, as well as the rest of our police force, gets proper training."

"(What do you want to see done? What do you want to see changed?) I want them to know it's not okay to do that, you just can't treat people like that," said Wright.

Wright was never charged with anything. He is now looking to file both civil and criminal charges against the officers involved.

WTOL is told the internal affairs investigation could take several days to complete.

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