Black Man, 71 Sues Police For Wrongful Home Search
Jethro DeVane is fighting back after police broke into his South Carolina home. The 71-year-old filed a lawsuit on Dec. 21 against the city of Rock Hill after a police body cam of the harrowing incident was released.
On Jun. 3, 2019, DeVane claimed he was sleeping when he heard a commotion at his back door. After getting up to see what was amiss, DeVane said he saw a contingent of Rock Hill police officers shining lights into his home. He came to the door and “he alleges the officers pointed a gun at him, led him outside and began searching his home while he was cursed at and forced to stand exposed to the public,”
DeVane said at a Tuesday Dec. 22 press conference, “That particular night, I woke up to a nightmare. [An officer] had his gun drawn, he said come out. I did what the man said. He’s got the weapon, I don’t. He could’ve taken my life in a minute.”
The Rock Hill Police Department explained their actions in a statement by saying the 71-year-old was “detained by officers for safety” and officers “conducted a protective sweep of the residence.” They were allegedly searching for four suspects who broke into a car and for some reason they thought the juveniles had run into DeVane’s residence. The complaint also states that the officers, “did not even know nor did they even ask for Plaintiff’s name until after he was forced out of his home at gunpoint completely naked while getting cursed at and held completely naked outside of his home at gunpoint while Officers searched his home.”
DeVane previously filed a complaint with the city, which was reportedly dismissed. He is now asking for a public apology from Rock Hill Mayor John Gettys and additional officer training to be implemented.
The story is eerily similar to Anjanette Young, a Black woman who was handcuffed in her home while naked by Chicago police during a wrongful police raid in 2019. The story only began to receive media attention after the bodycam footage was released.