Drug task force officer under investigation - WSMV News 4

Drug task force officer under investigation

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Two drug task force officers are under investigation in Dickson County because they may have used excessive force.

The officers got a tip about a meth lab in Dickson County. They found a suspect and they found drugs. However, the arrest was recorded on a cell phone and the public defender said the officers used excessive force.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident caught on tape.

The officer from the 23rd Judicial Drug Task Force in Dickson County is now on administrative leave after the video of the arrest surfaced.

Drug Task Force officers Michael Pate and Chris Freeze arrived at Eno Road in Dickson where they believed Richard Lowe Jr. and his girlfriend Tashana Albert were making meth.

The officers arrested Lowe, finding meth on him, but when it gets rough, his girlfriend pulls out her cell phone and starts taping.

Jake Lockert, the public defender for the 23rd Judicial District, said the entire search was illegal.

"It was a warrant-less search. They had no warrant on this gentleman at all. They simply went around trying to search his person without consent," said Lockert. "When he tried to resist or tell them not to search him, he actually told them no, that is when they started beating him, threw him to the ground, and then you see what transpired."

Pate said Lowe did give consent to search him and then started resisting arrest.

"You'll see he's not resisting at all," said Lockert. "When he let go of the choke hold, you'll see."

Pate continued to search Lowe's pockets while he was handcuffed and claims Lowe started to resist again.

Lockert believes that Lowe wasn't resisting, he was just being contorted in such an awkward position that he was screaming and squirming in pain.

"They don't suspect weapons. They're clearly looking for drugs," said Lockert. "You don't punch a man in the face in handcuffs because he may or may not be in possession of drugs."

Pate also received injuries during the scuffle.

Channel 4 News spoke with District Attorney Dan Alsobrooks, who oversees the 23rd Judicial District Drug Task Force.

He said he heard there was an altercation during the arrest and immediately turned the case over to the TBI. The next step is to wait for the TBI report.

Lowe is charged with two drug felonies and resisting arrest. Lockert has filed a motion to dismiss those as warrant-less searches.

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