georgia-teen-forced-to-ground-in-seat-belt-stop-files-suitMontre’ Merritt and his family have filed a $12.5 million civil suit against the Waycross Police Department for what they believe to be an inappropriate response to one officer’s actions against Merritt, who was pulled over for a seat belt citation but ended up forced to the ground at gunpoint.

The family claims that on Jan. 18, Merritt was pulled over by Waycross PD office Cory Gay for not wearing his seat belt, when Gay forced Merritt to the ground with a gun aimed at his head as his mother watched, helpless, in front of the family’s home.

Telling reporters from News4GA, “I could have been another Trayvon Martin case,” Merritt explains that the embarrassment and fearful memories from that traffic stop still haunt him. As a star athlete and a self-described community role model, Merritt refers to the event as a painful one.

After the incident, the family filed a complaint with Waycross PD regarding the use of force on Gay’s part. Authorities conducted an investigation which resulted in a five-day suspension for Gay, plus mandatory Judgmental Use of Force Training.

The Merritts did not feel that Gay’s punishment matched the impact his actions had on Montre’ and their family, so they filed a civil suit alleging assault and battery, negligent supervision, racial profiling, false arrest, deprivation of civil rights andemotional distress.

Noting that he still has flashbacks from the event, Merritt concluded simply, “I just don’t want this to happen to anybody [else].”

If you or someone you care about has suffered a personal injury caused by the recklessness or negligence of another person or entity, you are entitled to file a claim for damages.

The Eichholz Law Firm offers free case evaluations to those in need of legal advice. Take the first step today—call(866) 947-7449 or fill out our online form for help.