Rapper's lawsuit over 2018 arrest will proceed during FBI probe of Hamilton County detective

Staff photo by Doug Strickland / Charles Toney Jr., right, and his attorney S. Lee Merritt left the Hamilton County-Chattanooga Courts Building on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

A federal magistrate judge denied this week Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Detective Blake Kilpatrick's request to put a lawsuit on hold as the U.S. Department of Justice investigates the detective for a 2018 arrest in which a viral video showed him punching and kicking a handcuffed Black man.

District Attorney Neal Pinkston asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate after a bystander filmed part of the Dec. 3, 2018, arrest of Chattanooga rapper Charles Toney Jr. and posted it to social media.

Kilpatrick, who earns $53,681 annually, remains on administrative leave with pay, though elected officials, Toney's attorneys and community groups including the NAACP have called for his firing.

In a February motion, Kilpatrick's attorney Gerald Tidwell - after confirming the FBI is still investigating his client - argued that, while he expects Kilpatrick will be exonerated by the criminal investigation, the lawsuit could jeopardize his defense in the criminal case.