CAUGHT ON CAM: Man sues after head slammed in door during arrest in Upstate

Stephon Hopkins was arrested in April 2019

CAUGHT ON CAM: Man sues after head slammed in door during arrest in Upstate
Stephon Hopkins was arrested in April 2019 (Source: WYFF)

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WYFF/WIS) - An Upstate man arrested in 2019 in Greenville County is suing two Greenville County deputies following an incident during his arrest.

Attorneys for Stephon Hopkins filed a lawsuit against the two deputies, as well as the Sheriff’s Office, the Greenville County Division of Public Safety and Greenville County following an April 2019 incident.

Hopkins released video to WYFF News 4 from the arrest on April 22, 2019.

To read WYFF News 4′s previous story, click here.

“They told me I wasn’t under arrest,” Hopkins said in a news release from his attorney. “Then they tased me, beat me, slammed my head in a car door and locked me up for resisting arrest. They shouldn’t be able to get away with that.”

“This wasn’t a couple of bad apples getting carried away,” Hopkins’ attorney, Bakari Sellers, said in a release. “This was a complete failure from beginning to end. They were going to make my client pay one way or another and the system that was supposed to protect his safety and his rights either turned a blind eye or joined in.”

Hopkins was later charged with resisting arrest and hindering an officer and served seven months in prison on those charges, the release said.

“We’re talking about a case where there was no justification to use force, no de-escalation and no underlying charge. They didn’t even bother to ask our client if he was OK after slamming his head in a car door.” said Hopkins’ attorney, Jessica Fickling. “That’s not law enforcement. That’s brutality.”

In February, when WYFF News 4 reached out to the sheriff’s office for comment, the following statement was given.

“When the incident occurred, two years ago, a response to aggression (rta) analysis was completed by the deputy’s corresponding division commander, which found the use of force administered in the case was not excessive. What occurred in the video was certainly unfortunate but without speaking with the person involved and conducting a thorough investigation into the incident, in its entirety, we cannot conclude any ill intention or that the act was intentional. Like we have said from the beginning, our office of professional standards remains open for him to come speak with investigators and file a formal complaint if he wishes to do so.”

-Lt. Ryan Flood, Spokesman

WYFF News 4 has reached out again to find out if the sheriff’s office has a response to the lawsuit.

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