Black man sues officer for use of excessive force

23-year-old Emmitt Willis filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday, alleging that a White police officer in Pennsylvania pointed a gun at him before punching him in the face at least twice and later firing that gun into the ground a few inches from his back. (Feb. 16)

Video Transcript

EMMITT WILLIS: There were no emergency lights or audible sirens or anything on his approach. So I had no reason to believe that he is a policeman prior. And I know I wasn't doing anything wrong. He got out of his vehicle, weapon still in hand drawn at me, yelling for me to get out of my car. Of course, at this point, because I saw the police insignia, but I'm not still 100% sure he's a police officer, I don't really know how to proceed. So based off instinct, I just put my hands to the ceiling and wait for him to make his next move.

And that is whenever he pulled me out of the vehicle, upon which he-- when he opened the door, he punched me in the face. He threw me on the ground, punched me in the face one more time. And during the process of him cuffing me, even though I wasn't resisting and I was willingly putting my hands behind my back and laying face down, his firearm was pressed into the small on my back. And it popped off a few times.

Honestly, it just started off the scenario as a life or death situation. I immediately felt like the altercation going forward was pretty much do whatever you can to survive. Survival instinct kicked in and it told me that you could die in this situation. So do whatever you can in your power to not basically.