A Pokemon Go player is suing US Park Police after he was arrested and Tasered in what he claims was a racial incident.
In July, Jonathan McKinney was playing Pokemon Go while walking through Battery Kemble Park when he noticed a man staring at him and trying to talk to him.
According to McKinney, he refused to talk with the man, not knowing that he was actually a plainclothes US Park Police officer. After exiting the park, he was swarmed by officers without warning and in the heat of the moment, ran away.
“They were pursuing me, and I was afraid for my life,” he explained. “I felt like I was being bum-rushed or ambushed, and it was very shocking.”
Once he was chased to a fence, McKinney said police shot with three Tasers which injured his back and leg. He was then arrested but says he had no idea what he had done wrong and wasn’t told upon his release the next day.
Pokemon Go player sues police
NBC News reports that court documents show that charges claiming he assaulted three officers and resisted arrest were dropped.
McKinney’s lawyer, Donald Temple, said his client was “walking while black” and had been the victim of racial profiling.
“A black male who had never been arrested is now in the criminal justice computer system,” Temple said at a press conference.
The Pokemon Go player, who is suing the police for $1M, says he wants this case to help others who face similar issues.
“I’m just hoping for accountability and for professional behavior and for people to be able to move freely in their communities without threat of being profiled,” he said. “I’m kinda haunted by the incident and I really just wish it never occurred.”
US Park Police, however, said that while they cannot comment on the case, they will be making information about the incident public as soon as they are able to.