UPDATE:  Channel 3 has learned more conflicting details in the case of a Chattanooga police officer being sued by a man who claims he was wrongly arrested.

Body camera footage and a 911 phone call tell one story, while the officer's report tells another slightly different version of the events.  

Dispatcher: "911 do you have an emergency?"

Neighbor: "Uh yeah, can you send an officer to 2108 Vance Avenue? It's a guy out here with a gun threatening to shoot me."

This 911 call placed a year ago Saturday landed one man in jail.

"Uncuff me. I'm not even doing nothing," Carter told Officer Cody Thomas.

But according to claims inside a $3 million lawsuit and the original 911 call that came in, it wasn't the right man. 

"He's wearing green and black pants. He's out front now," the neighbor told the dispatcher.

Officer Thomas with the Chattanooga Police Department responded to the scene on Vance Avenue searching for a man named "Polo" wearing green and black.

WARNING: The video contains strong language that may not be suitable for all viewers. We are choosing to show it because we believe it adds important context to the story.

"Are you Polo? What's your name?" Officer Thomas asked Carter.

"Don't be coming to my house that's over there. Gone over there," Carter responded.

The officer then used his stun gun on Carter who seen in the video wearing purple, eventually arresting him. 

"I was checking my mailbox. What are you putting me on the ground for?" Carter questioned.

The use of force report Thomas completed after the incident claims the caller identified Carter as the suspect.

On the scene, the caller tells Officer Thomas that's not true. 

"You're the one who called, correct? Was this about him?" Officer Thomas asked the neighbor.

"Na, na, it was about another guy, but he ran through the yard," the neighbor replied.

The initial report from Thomas also leaves out a key detail of what the initial suspect was wearing.

Despite the person in question's clothing being described in the original call and Carter's attire not matching, Carter was charged that day with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Those charges were later dropped. 

Following an internal affairs investigation, Officer Thomas was suspended for two weeks as a result of the incident. He is back on the job.


PREVIOUS STORY: The City of Chattanooga and a Chattanooga police officer are now at the center of a multi-million dollar lawsuit. The man suing says he was wrongfully arrested after an officer used a stun gun on him.

The lawsuit was filed by Attorney Robin Flores on behalf of his client, Nate Carter, just two days ago.

The complaint stems from an incident in April of last year where the officer, Cody Thomas, responded to a call from a neighbor who said a man threatened him with a gun.

An affidavit shows Carter was arrested for Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest. Carter and his attorney said the officer's body cam video will tell a different story.

"Un-cuff me. I'm not even doing 'nothing," the video showed Nate Carter shouting. "I was checking my mailbox. What are you putting me on the ground for?!" Carter asked the officer while being apprehended.

Body cam footage from April 13, 2018, showed Officer Thomas on top of Carter arresting him. This was after another neighbor on Vance Avenue called 911 saying a man named "Polo" was outside threatening neighbors with a gun.

The complaint filed by Carter's attorney on Tuesday said the neighbor described the man police were seeking as a black male wearing green and black pants.

"Are you Polo? What's your name?" the officer asked Carter as he approached him.

He responded saying, "Don't be coming to my house. That's over there. Gone over there."

The lawsuit claims Carter, who had on a purple shirt in the video, was just checking his mail. The situation escalated when Carter attempted to return to his home.

"They calling about you?" the officer asked Carter.

"Not calling about me. Not me," he responded before trying to go back inside his house.

"How about you watch your mouth before your a** gets thrown in the back of my car," the officer said.

The situation escalated even more as the two continued to go back and forth.

"I don't have have to listen to you," Carter shouted at the officer.

"No, get your a** over here. You're now a part of this. Come here right now. I'll shoot your f***ing dog," Thomas shouted back.

"Shoot my dogs? You can't come in my yard!" Carter said.

The officer then deployed his stun gun hitting Carter. Thomas then pulled out his gun after calling for back up. He could be heard at another point in the video telling a responding officer on scene that he, "popped his taser cherry".

"You had a police officer come out to the scene and misidentify somebody, who didn't like the way that citizen talked to him--didn't like it and got angry," Flores told Channel 3.

Body cam video later shows the neighbor that called confirming Carter, who has a record of offenses dating back to 1997, wasn't the suspect.

"You're the one who called correct was this about him?" Thomas asked the man.

"Na, na. It was about another guy, but he ran through the yard," the man responded.

The complaint states that Officer Thomas conducted an unreasonable seizure of Carter, brought false criminal charges against him, authorized false reports to justify his unlawful actions and seized Carter without probable cause.

Carter, whose children can be seen witnessing his arrest in the video, is seeking $1 million in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages.

A spokesperson with the Chattanooga Police Department told Channel 3 the department is aware of the lawsuit but could not comment on it. The City Attorney's Office also declined to comment.

Thomas has been with the department since December 2016. An internal affairs complaint was filed against him in this case, which resulted in a two-week suspension.

He has since returned to work and remains on the job.


PREVIOUS STORY: A $3 million lawsuit was filed Tuesday against a Chattanooga police officer and the City of Chattanooga in relation to a 2018 arrest. 

The lawsuit, filed by attorney Robin Flores, says that a 911 call reported a man by the name of 'Polo' was threatening Wayne Sullivan with a gun on Vance Street. Polo was described as a "black male" and "wearing green and black pants" and was standing out in the street.

According to the lawsuit, Officer Cody Thomas was dispatched to the address on Vance Avenue, where Sullivan told Thomas that Nate Carter was not the suspect known as "Polo."

Carter was checking his mailbox at 220 Vance Street street when Officer Thomas arrived. According to the lawsuit and body camera footage of the incident, Carter was wearing a purple t-shirt and black shorts.

Officer Thomas asked Carter, "What's your name?"

Carter responded, "You ain't coming over to my house." According to his attorney, he was indicating the problem was at the home located at 2018 Vance Avenue.

Body camera footage shows the officer says, "How about you watch your mouth before your ass gets thrown in the back of my car?"

Carter walked away from Officer Thomas, saying he didn't have to talk with him and he didn't want Thomas on his property.

You can hear Thomas scream, "Get your ass over here, you're now a part of this," while pointing his stun gun at Carter.

Two dogs on Carter's property began barking, one straining at his leash in the video in an attempt to reach the officer.

Officer Thomas can be heard saying, "Get over here now, or I'll shooting your f***ing dogs."

Carter turned and walked toward his house, and that's when Officer Thomas deployed his stun gun, knocking Carter to the porch.

Carter then went inside the home and the verbal exchange continued. Officer Thomas can be heard demanding Carter show his hands and come back outside.

Carter came back outside and was taken into custody. Children can be seen coming out of the house and are heard crying in the background.

The lawsuit seeks one million dollars in compensatory damages and another $2 million in punitive damages.

According to a spokesperson for the Chattanooga Police Department, the department is aware of the lawsuit.

"Yes, we are aware of the civil lawsuit," said Elisa Myzal.

Myzal says Officer Thomas was suspended for his role in the arrest.

"A complaint was filed with Internal Affairs, it was investigated, and the disposition reached in November 2018 resulted in an 80-hour suspension."

Officer Thomas, who has been with the department since December 2016, served the suspension immediately and returned to work. He remains on the job.