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Kalamazoo man files complaint with NAACP, accusing police of excessive force

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Kalamazoo man files complaint with NAACP, accusing police of excessive force

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A Kalamazoo man has filed a formal complaint with the NAACP over what he calls excessive force in an officer's handling of his 20 year old son, who was arrested for interfering with police on the north side.

Newschannel 3 obtained video, which appears to show a KDPS officer restraining a man, being grabbed by the neck before he was arrested.

The department is currently investigating the case, including the actions of the officer.

After a recent shooting on Hawley Street, KDPS had been directing more enforcement in this area. It was this very street where this altercation happened.

In this video taken by a witness, Timeeko Churchwell claims his 20-year-old son Diante was grabbed by the neck by an officer.

"My son shouldn't have attempted to be choked at," he said.

Diante Churchwell was arrested for interfering with a police officer. Moments earlier on that evening of July 10, the man confronted Officer Derek Turner, after his 17 year old brother was arrested for narcotics possession on Hawley Street.

"He was just trying to ask what his brother was getting attested for," Timeeko told Newschannel 3.

Commissioner Stephanie Moore met with police and saw body-cam video of the incident, which Newschannel 3 has not yet obtained.

Moore believes the video shows Churchwell trying to interfere with the arrest.

"He actually walked up to the officer in a very aggressive manner," she said.

But Moore says she saw evidence in the video that shows Officer Derrick Turner grabbing Churchwell by the neck.

"He grabbed him. He turned him around, then detained him," Moore said. "I don't think that's a technique or a tactic that they're trained to use in the community."

Right now, KDPS says the officer is not being disciplined, but is still investigating all elements of the case.

Commissioner Moore is hoping to turn what happened in her neighborhood into a teachable moment.

"You have to take this opportunity to help other young people to know their right and to know what to do when interacting with a police officer," she said.

The local chapter of the NAACP is conducting its own investigating this incident. The chapter president plans to meet with KDPS Tuesday to review the footage.