Coram family's lawsuit accuses Suffolk County Police Department of police brutality
A Coram family claims they were terrorized by members of the Suffolk County Police Department as they searched for the man accused of shooting one of their officers last week.
The family filed a lawsuit Thursday, a week after the shooting, saying the incident was a "serious police mistake."
Warren Whyte says he was working in his yard on May 12 when he says several officers started yelling at him to get down on the ground. He says he complied and claims that he was kicked in the neck by an officer while being handcuffed.
"Being treated like that, you are already a criminal, not knowing why you are," Whyte says.
He says the officers then demanded to search his home.
Whyte says he asked police if his family could safely exit the house before they searched it. He says they agreed, but when his son walked out, they began yelling "Where's the gun?" and put his son in handcuffs.
"Basically, insinuating that I was in some sort of gang I guess because, you know, I'm Black, I guess that is just how it goes," said Warren Whyte Jr.
The Whyte family's lawsuit against the Suffolk County Police Department claims they were the victims of police brutality.
A spokesperson for the Suffolk County Police Department told News 12 that they do not comment on pending litigation.
The Whytes say police did apologize that evening and continue to apologize, but that is not enough.
"I want to address the commissioner with this question - What could we have done differently for this not to happen to my family?" says Sherene Whyte.
The family is seeking $5 million in damages.