Police held man naked while looking for teens
Warning: Video contains graphic content.
71-year-old Black man in South Carolina is suing police, saying they ordered him to stand outside his house naked at gunpoint. (Dec. 22)
Body camera video showed Jethro DeVane tell the officer in June 2019 he lived in the Rock Hill home and the officer cursed at him and told him not to close the door.
The officer ordered DeVane to stand outside his home naked, facing the wall. DeVane asked what was going on and officer Vincent Mentesana told him “I don’t want to talk to you,” according to the body camera video.
The officer held the gun to DeVane’s head for 90 seconds as other officers looked through his home, then once he got the all clear, asked DeVane his name and told him why police were in the neighborhood, according to the video DeVane and his lawyer obtained through a public records request.
DeVane’s lawsuit said the Rock Hill police chief found Mentesana was discourteous, but acted properly, along with the officers who went inside his home and searched it without a warrant.
Rock Hill Police spokesman Lt. Michael Chavis said the department doesn’t comment on pending lawsuits. He referred questions about whether Mentesana was still employed with the department or disciplined to the city’s human relations, which did not respond to an email.
In a news release shortly after the incident, police said officers who saw the teens running noticed DeVane’s house with tall grass, no lights and open door and a dirty swimming pool. They thought it might be abandoned and the teens could be inside.
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