Chattanooga attorney drafts complaint against East Ridge city, police officers

Former police officer says pair of East Ridge cops used "excessive force" on client

EAST RIDGE, Tenn. (WDEF) — The NAACP is raising questions over a police tasing incident in East Ridge last week.

Video surfaced on Youtube that appeared to show three officers tasing a man while trying to arrest him.

In a separate case, a local attorney has drafted a complaint against the city of East Ridge and two of its police officers.

Attorney Robin Flores also happens to be a former police officer and says that his client, then-70-year-old Ronald Cummins, was the victim of what he calls “false charges” by two local East Ridge officers.

Last July, the East Ridge officers were conducting a traffic stop when Cummins approached the officers and started questioning their actions.

According to an affidavit obtained by News 12, the lead officer told Cummins that he would be arrested if he continued to interfere in the traffic stop.

The officer said Cummins put his finger in his face and within seconds, the 70-year-old was on the ground in handcuffs.

Flores believes police used “excessive force.”

“I go back on my law enforcement career in South Carolina, my training in South Carolina and then my litigation practice for the last 21 years,” Flores said. “Police do not escalate situations. They’re not there to escalate. They’re there to calm things down.”

Cummins told the officers he had a heart condition after he was handcuffed.

He was soon taken to a nearby hospital by EMS and told that a warrant would be issued for his arrest.

Cummins’ attorney insists his client did nothing wrong.

“[City of Houston v. Hill, 482 U.S. 451 (1987)], U.S. Supreme Court decision says people can sit back and question the actions of police,” Flores said. “It’s not interference, it’s not obstruction. They can sit back and question them.”

Flores says his complaint against the officers and city “consists of claims for violating civil rights under the U.S. Constitution and violations of state law.”

He says the officers at the scene “had a duty to protect and refrain from that kind of conduct.”

He plans on prosecuting them “to the fullest.”

“There was nothing Mr. Cummins was interfering with,” Flores said. “Everything was done, they were waiting on a tow truck [and] citations were written. It’s disturbing. Police are not an occupying army. I’ve been in an occupying army — that’s not what police are about, and I’ve been a cop.”

When asked about Cummin’s current health status, his attorney said he’s had to have “continued medical care” since the incident.

Flores says he will officially file the complaint on Wednesday, April 20.

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