Blind Man Says He was Injured During Police Takedown

By DREW PETRIMOULX | dpetrimoulx@kark.com

Published 06/09 2015 06:47PM

Updated 06/10 2015 09:32AM

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- A legally blind man is speaking out after saying he was injured when a Little Rock Police officer slammed him to the ground.

"I had just got off of work," said Eric Wilson. It was just before 4:00 Monday, June 1st.

Wilson left his job at Lighthouse for the Blind. He missed his bus so he started to walk home along 65th St.

Around that time, LRPD says they got a call about someone fitting Wilson's description who was running away from or chasing someone and who appeared to be afraid.

"Hey, come over here and talk to me," the officer can be heard saying on dash camera video.

Wilson is legally blind and says he only sees shadows. He says he didn't know who was calling him.

"I could have possibly been getting robbed," Wilson said. "I didn't know what was about to happen."

The officers tell Wilson to put his hands behind his back, and then he's taken to the ground.

In a police report, an officer said Wilson "pulled away violently causing me to lose grip," and that he was "afraid that Wilson would strike myself or my partner with the handcuff."

But Wilson and his lawyer Reggie Koch say that's not what the video shows.

"When they tell him to 'come over here,' he walked towards them," Koch said.  "When they tell him 'take your hands out of your pockets,' he takes his hands out of his pockets.  What more do they want?"

The officers also said they saw a black handle hanging out of Wilson's pocket, but that turned out to be a clock that reads Wilson the time.

"Why would I get thrown to the ground?" Wilson questions.  "If anything [the officers] should have been trying to help me."

That night, Wilson says he went to the hospital with back pain and was diagnosed with a strained lumbar.

Wilson has filed a formal complaint with the Little Rock Police Department.  An agency spokesman said the department would not comment until an investigation into the complaint is complete.

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