ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) -- An Alpharetta man wants justice after he says police let a K-9 attack him while he was handcuffed and on the ground.
Attorneys for Travis Moya, 36, said the cell phone video of the incident looks like a scene from the Civil Rights Era. "We haven't seen something like this since that time period," said L. Chris Stewart, one of Moya's attorneys. They presented the video during a press conference at Stewart Miller Simmons law firm in Atlanta on July 29, 2021, as they announced plans to file a lawsuit against Alpharetta police.
The attorneys said Moya was not resisting arrest when police threw him on the ground, handcuffed him and released a K-9 on him. "It was unjustified, because Mr. Moya was simply having a mental health crisis, non-violent, on his own property," said Stewart. He added, "An officer of the canine unit came to the family and tried to clean up the blood so that no one would see it." "They responded with a K-9 unit and three other officers kneeling on him while a dog ripped into his flesh," said Attorney and Atlanta NAACP First Vice President Gerald Griggs.
Stewart described Moya's injuries. "Not only was Mr. Moya ripped apart so many times, we can't count the teeth marks, but he also suffered a concussion," he said. "They later charged him with felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer, which is absolutely ridiculous."
Moya was not allowed to talk due to the nature of the charge, and nor was his wife, since she was a witness. She made the call for help during his mental health crisis and is heard in the video pleading for him to stop. "She was telling him to stop talking, because as a Black person in this country, you aren't allowed to question an officer," explained Stewart. "The work that started in 2020 is not done yet. Certainly there needs to be more training, there needs to be more reform," said Madeleine Stewart, another attorney.
The attorneys are asking the Fulton County District Attorney to dismiss the charges against Moya. They also want the officers investigated and potentially charged. Alpharetta police declined to comment on any accusations, but released this statement:
At this time, no complaint has been filed in relation to this matter, however per our policies, a use of force investigation is being conducted in this matter, as is performed for any instance of a use of force incident by one of our officers.
A police spokesperson also said he didn't have the body cam footage to release right now, but said he would provide an update when it's available.
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