Body camera video shows Durham officer trying to search teen before 2019 altercation at center of civil rights lawsuit

Wednesday, July 29, 2020
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The Durham Police Department later acknowledged that the officer violated his duties in a warrant-less search and seizure, according to a letter sent to the family.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The City of Durham on Tuesday released body camera video showing a January 2019 altercation between a 16-year-old boy and a Durham police officer that later led to a federal civil rights lawsuit being filed.

The Durham Police Department later acknowledged that the officer violated his duties in a warrant-less search and seizure, according to a letter sent to the family.

The boy was charged with assault but those charges were later dropped.

'He shouldn't be a police officer:' Father files lawsuit alleging Durham officer assaulted his teenage son in 2019

The altercation happened shortly after 1:23 p.m. on January 23, when an unidentified person called 911 and reported there was "drug activity" at the Caroco Convenience store off Fayetteville Road.


Durham Police Officer Michael McGlasson responded.

The body camera video begins with McGlasson arriving to location and entering the store. It's inside where the officer encounters 16-year-old Tony Scott Jr. near the checkout area.

The City of Durham released this statement regarding what's seen on the video:

Officer McGlasson believed that Tony Scott, Jr. was the individual engaged in the drug activity referenced by the 911 caller, who had noted the color red in the individual's clothing. When Officer McGlasson attempted to restrain Tony Scott, Jr. to pat him down and conduct an investigation, Scott resisted, insisting that he had done nothing wrong. A physical altercation ensued between Officer McGlasson, Tony Scott, Jr., and an unidentified third party who stepped into the fray to assist Tony Scott, Jr. In the altercation, Officer McGlasson suffered a dislocated shoulder, and Tony Scott, Jr. escaped the Officer's grasp and ran out of the store.

In the video, you can hear McGlasson saying: "I'm going to pat you down real quick." Scott Jr. responds that he didn't do anything wrong.

A struggle begins and McGlasson is heard saying, "He's running. I dislocated my shoulder."

The video continues with the officer chasing after Scott Jr. toward a wooded area with his gun drawn saying, "Get on the ground."

McGlasson tells dispatch: "He's running east through the woods. He's grabbing his back left waistband."

No weapons were fired. The officer called for EMS assistance to his dislocated shoulder.

Tony Scott Sr. previously told ABC11 that his teenage son is traumatized and has never been the same.

Back in April 2019, Scott Jr. explained it this way to ABC11: "The officer approached me...He asks me, can he search me. And I'm backing up like, 'no.' I put my hands up. He grabbed both of my hands. He's like, 'you gone let me search you.' We're just going back and forth. I'm cursing at him. I'm letting him know that he not gonna search me. So he grabbed me and pulled me up to the counter trying to slam me and I run off."

RAW INTERVIEW: Tony Scott Jr. and son discuss body cam video

Through their attorneys, the family filed 12 counts of federal civil rights violation complaints on June 19, also known as Juneteenth, a day that commemorates African American's freedom from slavery.

"To throw somebody around like that. A slim and skinny little boy like that, he needs counseling," Scott Sr. said. "He shouldn't be a police officer."

The altercation was also caught on surveillance video.

The Caroco convenience store is across from Hillside High School, where Scott Jr. said he and his friends would go during lunch.

The lawsuit alleges the teen was hunted by K-9 dogs before eventually being arrested, booked and charged with two felony assault charges.

But the charges were dropped last year. In the paperwork from the District Attorney's office, the reason for dismissal was listed as: "In the interest of justice."

Scott Sr. also filed a complaint with Durham police.

"If my son wouldn't have gotten away I really believe he would have shot him," Scott Sr. said. "Because it's happening everyday all day. All over the world. And the way he was aggressive and lied about it. Why wouldn't he shoot him? I think that's what his intention was."

McGlasson's employment record shows he was suspended on Oct. 28, 2019. A few days later on Halloween, DPD sent a letter to the Scott family stating the officer violated his duties in a warrant-less search and seizure.

McGlasson was hired by DPD on January 25, 2016 with a salary of $33,000 a year. He is still employed by the department, making a little over $42,000 a year.

The Scott family is seeking monetary damages from the officer, the City of Durham and Durham Police Department. They claim their son was the one assaulted and his federal civil rights were violated.

Durham Police released this statement: "The Durham Police Department will not comment on pending litigation. The City's responses to allegations in the complaint will be provided in its responsive pleadings."

Scott is being represented by the Law Offices of Sharika M. Robinson and the Julian Michael Law Firm. The firm is requesting that the case go to a jury trial.