Charles Deshon Toney, 25, is weak days after Hamilton County sheriff’s deputies beat him in a “show of force” arrival to his apartment block in East Ridge.
A beating recorded on video ended with two broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and a dozen bruises, knots and abrasions from being fist-punched, kicked by a deputy and dragged across and tossed upon a parking lot tarmac in plain view of neighbors.
By David Tulis / 92.7 NoogaRadio
Sheriff Jim Hammond said he had a warrant for Mr. Toney’s arrest. It is not clear why the officers did not simply get out of their unmarked SUVs in their show of force, and ask Mr. Toney, father of four small children, to come quietly with them downtown for a meeting with a magistrate and booking.
He stood with his hands in the air. A deputy with his pistol aimed at Mr. Toney rushed at him and punched him in the face, apparently without provocation. What followed is recorded by Mr. Toney in an affidavit that he plans to submit to internal affairs division of the department in an administrative complaint.
Mr. Toney also plans to inquire of an attorney whether he has legal grounds for a tort action against the officers and their employer.
Affidavit of Charles Deshon Toney
On beating by sheriff’s deputies Dec. 3, 2018
My name is Charles Deshon Toney, and I live in Hamilton County, Tenn., at 916 Donaldson Road, Apt. 113, East Ridge. My occupation singer and music entertainer. I’m 25 years old and the father of four children, ages 6 months, 3, 4 and 5.
The following account is true and complete, to the best of my knowledge and recollection.
The beating at the hands of the Hamilton County sheriff’s department took place Monday, Dec. 3, at 9:38 a.m. at my address while officers came to arrest me.
I was preparing to visit 92.7 FM NoogRadio to give an interview at 11 a.m. to Marie Mott to discuss my album.
I was standing outside of my apartment building in the parking area at the edge of the lawn and met J, a friend, who bought one of my new music CDs for a $10 bill. We were discussing my work as a rap singer and entertainer.
Five law enforcement cars rushed up to us. None of the cars had markings or plates indicating they were Hamilton County sheriff department cars. They were gray, white and black SUVs and at least one pickup truck.
Men poured out of them. Some circled around behind us.
‘I don’t like you’
A big officer to my right approached me, aiming a semiautomatic pistol in his left hand at my face. I stood facing him, both hands high in the air. He said, “Aren’t you Interstate Tax? I don’t like you.” He cocked an arm back and punched me. This blow is the one that broke my nose, though I cannot be 100 percent sure, as I received other blows on my face in the attack.
As I am lying on the ground, two more officers jump upon me. I am on my knees. I voluntarily put my arms behind my back, and they put on steel handcuffs on my wrists.
The beefy officer was hitting me, he said, “because we don’t like your music,” one shouted. “We don’t like that and we don’t like nothing about you. We hate you.” An officer called me “a moron.” One said, “This is how you’re gonna look ‘after the deal.’” This comment refers to the title of my CD, “Before the Deal.”
I was on my knees, they were pressing my head toward the ground and hitting my head. A deputy put my head between his knees and he kept crying to the other officers, “He’s reaching [for a weapon].” I was suffering pain in this posture.
I told officers, “I am having trouble breathing. I can’t breathe.”
They tossed me to the ground, picked me up, threw me down again. As they were shouting at me. They leaned me against either of two vehicles, pressing me down and hitting me. “Quit moving,” they shouted.
They said, “You know what we’re here for.” No officer made any statement as to why they were present, what they were trying to accomplish, or what charges I was supposedly under. No one showed me a warrant or offered a conversation about my duty to quietly go with them under a court order.
We were alongside a Razr, a blue four-wheel dune buggy car I had borrowed from a friend to use in a video. They threw me against this car and broke a window.
They manhandled me upon its flange-like rear fender, shouting that I had something in my back pocket and punched me against the back of my head.
All this while I was under handcuffs and not offering any resistance.
Handcuffed, lying on ground, kicked in privates
An officer said that I was spitting on him. I was unable to breathe, and feeling huge distress in my lungs. I did not intentionally act to strike anyone, but was trying to prevent pain by protecting my body and face.
“I don’t have nothing on me,” I kept saying. As they rolled me on the pavement, lying on my right side, an officer kicked me with his boot from the backside, hitting my testicles and caused me a sharp pain.
I said, “I cannot breathe.” I told one officer, “You’re a bitch.”
The beefy deputy said to me, “You are a stupid motherfucker and a moron. We don’t like what you talk about. We don’t like what you talk about. We don’t like your music. We don’t like you and nothing you stand for.”
One officer whose fist so worn out with hitting me had to shake it twice for relief, according to the video by Qualeka Shante Alqadri, my neighbor.
‘I’m going to blow your fucking brains out’
I estimate I received at least a dozen punches, at least seven visible on the video.
They pressed me against another parked vehicle and rap my head against it. I shouted two or three times to Qualeka, “Q! Q!” hoping to get the attention of others and to get help.
Deputies searched my apartment, No. 113, without a search warrant. I did not give my personal consent.
My injuries include a broken right forefinger, abrasions on my left forehead, abrasions on my right temple, abrasions on my left and right cheeks, knots on the back and sides of my head, severe abrasions on my left shoulder above the tattoo of a microphone, a kick wound on my hip, abrasions on my knees, two fractured ribs and a bruised and collapsed left lung.
One officer said as I sat in the back of a sheriff’s SUV that he hated me. “I’m going to blow your fucking brains out,” he said.
Taken to city, told ‘you will be OK’
An officer who said his name was Jim took me to Hamilton County jail downtown. He was on the phone having a conversation about warrants in my case. He said he knew I wasn’t intentionally spitting at an officer.
Still feeling distress, I told him, “I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe,” but he said, “You will be OK.”
Though I was hurting in my chest and having trouble breathing from the beating, deputies did not go to the hospital, but the jail.
At the jail downtown, they stripped me of my hoodie and shoes and socks and I was in the room half naked, wearing only my red jogging pants.
When Jim the deputy read a form out loud to me, the first question was, “Do you need medical assistance?” I said, “Yes.”
He said, “You will be OK. I will get the in jail nurse for you.”
A woman came and looked over my bruised body and in a few seconds said I would be OK. She sent me back to the booking desk.
The magistrate said, “You were picked up on a warrant and you have new charges against you from what happened at your arrest.” The charges laid against me are assault, evidence tampering and resisting arrest.
He was the first person to read me my Miranda rights.
The magistrate put me under a $12,000 bond, and I made arrangements with a bondsman to pay $1,200. For my girlfriend, Shaughnessy McClendon, he discounted that amount by half.
I was in the jail 11 hours.
On Tuesday, the next night, I went to East Ridge hospital emergency room and told the registration clerk I had been beaten up. He asked me if I needed to call the police. I told him no, I did not feel comfortable with officers present.
They checked my blood pressure and weight, took me for X-rays, and a CT scan of my head and informed me that I had a fractured finger and two broken ribs. The chest X-ray indicated also I had a collapsed lung. I was at the hospital for five hours. Then I went to my apartment.
Further affiant saith not.
I swear the above and foregoing representations are true and correct to the best of my information, knowledge and belief. Etc.
Toney tells of violent arrest
Charles “Interstate Tax” Toney recounts his arrest and beating at the hands of Hamilton County sheriff’s department officers Dec. 3. (Courtesy 92.7 NoogaRadio)