RNA - Charles Wade was arrested for allegedly drunken driving in Montgomery County in October, and says that officers used excessive force as he was taken in for processing.
Surveillance video obtained by local activist David Esrati shows Wade being taken into the jail, and headbutting a padded wall before he was eventually moved into a main room.
Officers strapped him to a chair by the legs and waist before he says “Do you white people feel good doing this to us n----rs?" and they move to undo his handcuffs so they can strap his arms.
“What the f--- are you f---ing doing to my hands” Wade, who is bent over, says as he begins to struggle.
The brief jostling causes Sgt. John Eversole to spray the suspect “at a range of approximately one inch with a long burst” according to Wade’s lawsuit.
As Wade goes on a coughing fit, Eversole sprays him again.
Wade began saying “I can’t breathe," but the surrounding officers uncuff him and continue to strap him into the chair, restraining his upper body as he heaves.
He is wheeled into a room, while Eversole is heard yelling “you’re next” at another inmate who had made noise.
Wade’s lawyer Doug Brannon said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that the treatment was “brutal and excessive force” and demanded an unspecified amount of money including compensation for treatment he has received.
“If he starts struggling you just bake off and start again. It’s called de-escalation,” Esrati, the activist, told the Daily News.
He added that Wade’s headbutting a wall was no reason to spray him, and that the young man told him that he did so because he was mad at getting in trouble.
Both Brannon and Esrati noted that the spray came a little more than a year after Amber Swink was pepper-sprayed while completely restrained in a chair at the same jail.
Video of the November 2015 incident published by Brannon, who is also her lawyer, shows Sgt. Judith Sealey walk into a holding room and spray Swink, who had been arrested after a domestic dispute call, before walking away.
The footage emerged months later, and Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer said that the behavior of Sealey, who had by that time been promoted to captain, was an isolated incident.