Chattanooga rapper sues Hamilton County, sheriff's office and deputy for 2018 beating

Charles Toney Jr. listens as his attorney speaks during a news conference at the Hamilton County-Chattanooga Courts Building on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn. In the news conference, attorney S. Lee Merritt called for the firing of Hamilton County sheriff's deputies who were filmed punching and kicking Toney and for the district attorney's office to drop criminal charges against him.

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office deputy Blake Kilpatrick, who has been under investigation for the December 2018 filmed beating of Chattanooga rapper Charles Toney Jr., is now facing a $750,000 lawsuit.

A bystander filmed part of an arrest on Dec. 3, 2018, in which Kilpatrick punched and kicked Toney, who was handcuffed and on the ground. After the video went viral, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond placed Kilpatrick on desk duty and District Attorney Neal Pinkston asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate. Kilpatrick remains on administrative leave with pay, though community members, including the NAACP, and elected officials have called for his firing.

Toney's attorneys filed a lawsuit in federal court on Monday, alleging Kilpatrick violated Toney's constitutional right to be free from the use of excessive force. Kilpatrick is also accused of assault and battery, and the suit claims the county is liable because of "a custom" and "pattern" of training and disciplinary failures.

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