PHOENIX (FOX 10) - One of the speakers at Tuesday's Town Hall meeting was a young man named Dante Patterson. He claims Officer Christopher Meyer, the same one from the viral shoplifting video, used excessive force while escorting him out of Castles N' Coasters at Metrocenter Mall in January of last year.
Patterson says he had minor issues with other people inside the park that night before he was asked to leave. He insists he followed Officer Meyer's instructions the entire time.
"I did not pose a threat," Patterson said. "He was walking me out as I got pepper sprayed."
Patterson says he a minor issue with other people inside the park that night before he was asked to leave and insists he followed Meyer's instructions the entire time.
"I didn't come at him disrespectful.. I told him to calm down.. I was trying to de-escalate him."
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In the police report filed by Meyer, who was off-duty, but in uniform that night, he wrote that Patterson turned toward him in a fighting stance and stepped toward him, placing Meyer in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury. So he deployed the spray.
The video does not show Patterson turning toward Meyer right before the spray was used.
"The report is falsified. He said I came at him with a threatening gesture. I have witnesses who gave statements, and he falsified their statements as well," said Patterson.
Patterson claims the report is one-sided and his complaints about Meyer to the department fell on deaf ears.
The Phoenix Police Department says this incident was reviewed by the professional standards bureau and no misconduct was identified. Patterson was escorted out by employees for disruptive behavior, then illegally re-entered the property. As he was being escorted out again, he began cursing and flailing his arms, then turned toward the officer with clinched fists in a fighting stance. He was then sprayed and taken into custody. A loaded .45 caliber pistol was found in his waistband.
Patterson was originally facing several charges, including aggravated assault on an officer, but that charge did not stick. He ended up with a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.