UPDATE: Charges filed against Charles Toney after an altercation with arresting officers have been dropped by prosecutors, Channel 3 learned Tuesday.

A handcuffed Toney, seen in a now-viral video being kicked and punched by Hamilton County Sheriff's Officer detective Blake Kilpatrick, was charged with evidence tampering and resisting arrest in the incident.

Toney's lawyer S. Lee Merritt asked that the charges be dropped at a news conference last week.


PREVIOUS STORY: There are conflicting reports from authorities and attorneys about the injuries one man received during an arrest.

Cellphone video shows Charles Toney on the ground in handcuffs, while a Hamilton County detective punches and kicks him.

Toney's attorney, Lee Merritt, and community members called a press conference Thursday to share his medical records that show he suffered a collapsed lung and other injuries just days after the sheriff told Channel 3 that Toney was not seriously injured.

“He suffered a collapsed lung, a broken nose, a broken digit, and several broken ribs,” said Merritt.

On Monday, Sheriff Jim Hammond said Toney was in an accident prior to the incident that was caught on camera.

“There were no injuries that required hospitalization, stitches or any further treatment at the hospital,” Hammond said. “It is my understanding there was an accident he was involved in early today. I have no idea if whether that may have perpetrated some of his injuries or not.”

However, Merritt says Toney was never involved in an accident.

“I haven't even heard that idea floated, but it is simply a fabrication prior to this happening,” said Merritt.

Sheriff Hammond's spokesperson released the following statement saying Erlanger hospital staff checked out Toney at the jail and did not note injuries:

“Sheriff Hammond’s prior comments at the press conference on Monday, December 10th regarding Mr. Toney’s health status were based on information contained in the Medical Intake Report completed at the time of Mr. Toney’s booking by Erlanger Medical personnel.

Mr. Toney was seen by Erlanger Medical Staff at the Hamilton County Jail on December 3, 2018 at 12:04 pm. The medical intake report completed for Mr. Toney does not reflect a broken finger, a collapsed lung, broken ribs, or a broken nose.

Mr. Toney and his attorney may contact the HCSO and request his Medical Intake Report to be released. Approving the release of this report should not be an issue as Mr. Toney and his attorney have already released information regarding his personal medical condition.

While the HCSO cannot address any specific medical reports given to the local media by Mr. Toney or his counsel, the HCSO can confirm our medical records, completed by Erlanger Medical Staff contractually working in our Jail at the time of his booking, do not reflect any of the injuries aforementioned by Mr. Toney or his legal counsel.”


Merritt also disputed the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office’s reports that said deputies arrested Toney for drug possession charges as part of a federal warrant roundup. Merritt says Toney arranged to surrender before the roundup, and the arrest that was caught on camera never should have happened.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is handling the investigation into the case.

Merritt is demanding the charges against his client be dropped and for Detective Blake Kilpatrick to step down.

“What happened was recorded and so we know when the officer has accused Mr. Toney of assault and accused him of resisting, those are false allegations. There is simply no justification for the use of that kind of violent force,” said Merritt. “This isn't somebody who just made a mistake or should be given a pass.”


PREVIOUS STORY: The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is responding to the injury claims made by the attorney of Charles Toney, the man who was kicked and punched by a HCSO detective while in handcuffs.

Toney's attorney Lee Merritt told Channel 3 on Tuesday that his client suffered serious injuries during his arrest by Detective Blake Kilpatrick.

On Thursday, HCSO spokesperson Matt Lea released the following statement on Toney's medical evaluation at the Hamilton County Jail:

“Sheriff Hammond’s prior comments at the press conference on Monday, December 10th regarding Mr. Toney’s health status were based on information contained in the Medical Intake Report completed at the time of Mr. Toney’s booking by Erlanger Medical personnel.

Mr. Toney was seen by Erlanger Medical Staff at the Hamilton County Jail on December 3, 2018 at 12:04 pm. The medical intake report completed for Mr. Toney does not reflect a broken finger, a collapsed lung, broken ribs, or a broken nose.

Mr. Toney and his attorney may contact the HCSO and request his Medical Intake Report to be released. Approving the release of this report should not be an issue as Mr. Toney and his attorney have already released information regarding his personal medical condition.

While the HCSO cannot address any specific medical reports given to the local media by Mr. Toney or his counsel, the HCSO can confirm our medical records, completed by Erlanger Medical Staff contractually working in our Jail at the time of his booking, do not reflect any of the injuries aforementioned by Mr. Toney or his legal counsel.”


During a press conference on Monday, Sheriff Jim Hammond said Toney was checked out by a jail nurse who determined Toney was fine and didn't need medical attention.

However, Merritt said medial records show his client was hurt physically and mentally.

"Mr. Toney suffered a collapsed lung. He suffered a broken nose. He suffered two broken ribs. He was seriously injured in this assault," Merritt told Channel 3.

Channel 3 reached out to Erlanger for comment on the statement from the HCSO. A spokesperson says there's nothing that can be added to the HCSO's statement at this time.


PREVIOUS STORY: The attorney for the Chattanooga man kicked and punched by a Hamilton County detective made it clear that he felt this is an issue of police brutality.

At a news conference Thursday at the Hamilton County Courthouse, Lee Merritt called for Detective Blake Kilpatrick to be fired and for the false charges against Charles Toney to be dropped immediately. He added that he is "counting on the U.S. Attorney's Office to file the proper criminal charges for the brutal assault of Mr. Toney."

Toney's father said he was also beaten but by Chattanooga police officers in 2009 and is upset his son is experiencing the same thing in present day.

Community leaders in attendance said they're "not afraid; the police cannot continue to do this to people."

Before the news conference, Merritt said he met with District Attorney Neal Pinkston and Sheriff Jim Hammond. Merritt said he listed simple demands, which included wanting systematic change in Chattanooga so that this does not happen again.

He added that he explained to DA Pinkston that Toney had arranged to surrender before officers came to his home. Merritt said Pinkston was not aware of that.

Channel 3 has reached out to DA Pinkston and Sheriff Jim Hammond. We have not yet heard back.


PREVIOUS STORY: The attorney representing the man who was punched and kicked by a Hamilton County detective while in handcuffs wants everyone involved fired.

We are now hearing conflicting stories about why law enforcement showed up to Charles Toney's home last week.

Sheriff Jim Hammond said his detective was working with U.S. Marshals to serve a federal warrant.

But Toney's attorney Lee Merritt said it was all over non-violent charges that his client agreed to surrender to later this week.

Now he wants everyone involved off the job.

"What you can see plainly in the video, you see an officer striking a citizen, a pedestrian, a suspect repeatedly. He's defenseless. He's not able to defend himself," Merritt told Channel 3 over FaceTime Tuesday.

Merritt wrote in a press release Wednesday, other officers on scene held Toney down and looked away as Detective Blake Kilpatrick punched and kicked his handcuffed client.

Merritt said what you see in the video is criminal and violates Toney's civil rights.

"What you see happening there, without proper justification, is a crime. It's an aggravated assault," Merritt said.

Kilpatrick wrote in an arrest report he punched and kicked Toney because he was resisting arrest, reaching in his pockets and bit his finger.

He remains on desk duty pending an internal affairs investigation.

The Hamilton County district attorney requested the U.S. Department of Justice to complete an independent investigation.

Merritt is still trying to identify the other officers seen in the video and what agencies they work for.

Hammond confirmed earlier this week there were several agencies present for the arrest including U.S. Marshals and Chattanooga police officers.

We've reached out to those agencies for a response. They both tell Channel 3 they are cooperating with all investigations.

A representative with the U.S. Marshals Service said they will conduct their own internal affairs investigation.

Channel 3 asked to see Detective Kilpatrick's personnel file to determine if other complaints have been filed against him in the past.

We were told today by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office that file is off limits because of the confidential nature of Kilpatrick's role at the sheriff's office.


PREVIOUS STORY: For the first time, Channel 3 is hearing from the man seen in a video being punched and kicked while handcuffed by a Hamilton County detective.

Charles Toney is now being represented by a high-profile civil rights attorney, who is speaking out on his behalf.

Lee Merritt said he plans on filing a civil rights lawsuit against Detective Blake Kilpatrick and possibly the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office once their investigation is complete.

Merritt spoke to Channel 3 over FaceTime from his Philadelphia office about the video that surfaced on social media.

"That is inconsistent with police policy that I've seen all over the country. I don't see a justification for that kind of action," Merritt said.

Sheriff Jim Hammond said during a press conference Monday, Toney was checked out by a jail nurse who determined Toney was fine and didn't need medical attention.

But Merritt said that's not true and medial records show his client was hurt physically and mentally.

"Mr. Toney suffered a collapsed lung. He suffered a broken nose. He suffered two broken ribs. He was seriously injured in this assault," he added.

Merritt's team is the latest to open their own investigation into the video, joining a list of legal and civil rights organizations.

Merritt said he is also looking into Kilpatrick's background.

"If everything checks out, his past and present should be brought to bare, then this officer should face punishment for his actions," Merritt said.

Kilpatrick is one of six officers named in a $40-million lawsuit filed by the family of Christopher Sexton, a man who was shot and killed by officers after a chase in 2017.

The district attorney ruled that the shooting in 2017 was justified.


PREVIOUS STORY: A detective with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office has been assigned a desk job and an investigation is underway after video surfaced of him punching and kicking a man in handcuffs.

The Hamilton County District Attorney's Office confirmed Monday it has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the case. 

Meanwhile, internal affairs will also investigate Detective Blake Kilpatrick's actions. 

While that happens, Kilpatrick is on modified duty. 

Charles Toney is the man who was in handcuffs.

Sheriff Jim Hammond confirms the officer in the video is Detective Blake Kilpatrick.

You can see Kilpatrick punching and kicking a man in handcuffs during an arrest last week.

Kilpatrick wrote in an arrest report he "gave front kicks and edge fist strikes to retrieve control" of Toney.

Kilpatrick said Toney was resisting arrest.

"But one thing is unmistakable, he was in handcuffs. And that's the only thing I'm willing to say at this point, that's clear to everybody," Hammond said.

Hammond said Kilpatrick was at Toney's home with U.S. Marshals on a federal warrant roundup.

Hammond held a press conference in response to the video with county commissioners and representatives of the NAACP.

"There is deep concern. The general rule is once someone is handcuffed, you back up on the way in which you take them into custody or deal with them at that point. That's what we are focusing on," Hammond said.

Hammond said an internal affairs investigation is underway to learn more about what happened before and after the clip that was shared on Facebook.

While that happens, Kilpatrick is on desk duty.

"Anytime there is this level of concern, we always think it's better to put the officer in a neutral position until we look at what all the evidence would support," Hammond added.

The NAACP is also stepping in, performing their own investigation into potential civil rights violations.

Local chapter president Dr. Elenora Woods said she wants to talk to Toney and anyone else who saw what happened.

"We don't know all of the full details right now, but we can assure you that we will not rest if injustice has occurred. If it has occurred, we will be on top of it," Woods added.

Hammond has requested body camera footage from the other agencies who assisted in the arrest.

He said they have not yet complied with his request.

Kilpatrick was one of six officers involved in the shooting that killed Christopher Sexton, 26, in Soddy Daisy in 2017.

The TBI determined that officer-involved shooting to be justified.

Channel 3 reached out to Toney again Monday.

He said his attorney would contact us but we have not heard back.

Both the sheriff and the NAACP want to talk to anyone who saw or was involved in the incident.

Contact the NAACP by e-mailing naacpchattanooga@epbfi.com.


PREVIOUS STORY: Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond tells Channel 3 that the deputy seen in a recent Facebook video punching and kicking a handcuffed suspect is Detective Blake Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick has been assigned to desk duty.

In Monday's news conference, Hammond said he was alarmed by what he saw in the video.

While the HCSO will perform their own internal investigation, it is up the District Attorney to decide if another agency should be assigned to investigate the matter.

The NAACP says they will also perform their own investigation.

Both organizations said they have been unable to reach Charles Toney or other witnesses.

Toney was arrested and charged with assault and tampering with or fabricating evidence.

Video of Toney's arrest surfaced on Facebook, showing him handcuffed and being punched and kicked by a Hamilton County Sheriff's Office deputy. 


PREVIOUS STORY: A viral video with over 70,000 views shows a local rapper being punched and kicked by a Hamilton County Sheriff's deputy.

Last Monday, deputies arrested Chattanooga-native rapper Interstate Tax, whose real name is Charles Deshon Toney, on charges of assault and tampering with or fabricating evidence.

Qualeka Alquadri lives beside Charles Toney and said she was afraid of retaliation from law enforcement but says she could no longer keep quiet.

Alquadri said she was on the phone with a friend when police swarmed around Donaldson Road. She began recording after hearing the loud commotion.

"First, when he came, he was like you ‘Interstate Tax?’ He led off with a punch and then threw him on the ground, that's when I started recording," Alquadri said.

In the video obtained by Channel 3, you can see Toney being thrown to the ground, punched and then kicked by the arresting deputy.

We have not been able to confirm with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office what happened in the moments leading up to the video.

Alquadri says she continued to film until the altercation was over.

"After they had did all the commotions, the neighbors came out. This is when the video had stopped because he was screaming my name so loudly. I had put the phone down because they had already taken him to the car," Alquadri said.

Alquadri said she has known her neighbor, Toney, for about a year but does not know why he was being arrested.

Channel 3 reached out to the sheriff's department, and they sent us the following statement:

“The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and the Internal Affairs Division were made aware late last week a video had surfaced regarding an altercation that took place during an arrest that involved one of our personnel. Until today, Internal Affairs personnel had been unsuccessful in obtaining a copy of the alleged video despite numerous attempts to speak to the suspect involved or any alleged witnesses who may have seen or filmed the alternation. At this time, the suspect involved has not come forward, despite attempts by our personnel to reach him, and has instead, chosen to go to the news media rather than file an official complaint with our Internal Affairs Division.

In order to ensure HCSO policies and procedures were followed, this incident has been turned over to the Internal Affairs Division for review.

As this is an ongoing investigation by the Internal Affairs Division, no further information is available at this time.

Anyone with any information or may have witnessed this incident are encouraged to contact the HCSO Internal Affairs Division at 423-209-8946.”

Alquadri has lived in Chattanooga for more than a decade, and this is the first time she has seen an incident of this magnitude.

"I've never saw nothing like this. This is actually a great neighborhood, we don't never hear no people fighting, or shooting or stuff like that, never. This is the first time that this right here has ever happened," Alquadri said.

In response to the video, a call to action has been posted on Facebook.

 
User: Marie To: link

This is still an ongoing investigation.

Channel 3 has reached out to Toney, he has chosen not to speak at this time.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is expected to release more information on Monday.


PREVIOUS STORY: A video of a Hamilton County Sheriff's deputy kicking and punching a handcuffed suspect who was accused of resisting arrest is making the rounds on Facebook.

The video was posted Saturday by rapper Interstate Tax, whose real name is Charles Deshon Toney, and it already has over 40,000 views.

Toney's neighbor told Channel 3 that she filmed the altercation that took place while deputies were arresting Toney last Monday on charges of assault and tampering with or fabricating evidence.

Channel 3 reached out to the sheriff's department, and they sent us the following statement:

“The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and the Internal Affairs Division were made aware late last week a video had surfaced regarding an altercation that took place during an arrest that involved one of our personnel. Until today, Internal Affairs personnel had been unsuccessful in obtaining a copy of the alleged video despite numerous attempts to speak to the suspect involved or any alleged witnesses who may have seen or filmed the alternation. At this time, the suspect involved has not come forward, despite attempts by our personnel to reach him, and has instead, chosen to go to the news media rather than file an official complaint with our Internal Affairs Division.

In order to ensure HCSO policies and procedures were followed, this incident has been turned over to the Internal Affairs Division for review.

As this is an ongoing investigation by the Internal Affairs Division, no further information is available at this time.

Anyone with any information or may have witnessed this incident are encouraged to contact the HCSO Internal Affairs Division at 423-209-8946.”

Toney was also charged with RESISTING ARREST OR OBSTRUCTION OF LEGAL PROCESS.

It is not clear what led to the incident at this time.