Protester sues city of Charlotte and CMPD after flashbang exploded in his hand

A man who was taking part in protests following George Floyd’s death in 2020 is now suing the city of Charlotte, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, and several CMPD officers after being severely injured when he picked up a flashbang grenade.

Kyre Mitchell says he was protesting in Uptown Charlotte on May 30, 2020, when officers deployed tear gas, pepper bullets, and flashbang grenades to break up the crowd.

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According to the civil lawsuit filed last week, Mitchell says he noticed a car nearby with a family and children inside. At the same time, he said he noticed an officer throwing a device nearby.

The lawsuit says Mitchell picked up the flashbang and tried to throw it “in an effort to protect the family.” The flashbang grenade ended up exploding in Mitchell’s hand, severely wounding him.

According to the court documents, Mitchell was rushed to the hospital but had to have two fingers amputated.

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Mitchell is suing the department and the city for claims of excessive force. He’s asking for damages and a jury trial.

Channel 9 reached out to CMPD for a response to the lawsuit, but the department said it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

CMPD had been sued previously for its use of force in response to the George Floyd protests. The department was accused of trapping protesters in a tactic called “kettling,” and assaulting them with rubber bullets, tear gas, and flashbang grenades, according to the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union. A settlement was reached in 2021. According to the ACLU, the terms of the settlement include extensive revisions to CMPD directives, including a ban on the use of CS tear gas during protests and a ban on the use of chemical weapons to “kettle” or trap protesters. The agreement reportedly states that dispersal orders must be communicated clearly and repeatedly in English and Spanish, allowing protesters reasonable time to disperse.

(WATCH BELOW: Group facing misdemeanors from 2020 Charlotte protests to ask DA to drop charges)