A Lynchburg family is frustrated with what they call an "excessive use of force" by the city's police department.
Unita Carter called police July 21, after being attacked by a neighbor's dog. Officers confronted the dog's owner, but determined the animal wasn't a public threat.
The dog's owner told officers that Carter was armed, so they went to her house and asked to see her weapon. Police say Carter was not armed.
Carter said officers came to her house on Cabell Street around 11:45 p.m. with weapons drawn. She and her children assembled in the front yard when police arrived. During the investigation, Carter's 14-year-old son ended up being detained by police. Officers say he displayed "threatening behavior."
The boy told WDBJ7 Monday that he was reaching to empty his pockets, after hearing the command from police. Carter said the command was directed at her. She believes her son misunderstood the situation and was only attempting to comply with what he believed was an order from police.
Carter says four officers jumped on her son, who weighs around 110 pounds. The boy has several visible scars on his shoulder, knees, and feet. Carter presented WDBJ7 with a document from Lynchburg General Hospital that showed the boy was diagnosed with "broken ribs" shortly after the confrontation.
Carter believes the situation could have been handled less aggressively and that a group of four officers wasn't necessary to detain a small, unarmed boy.
"He doesn't even want to walk up the street by himself now," Bryant said of her son. "He doesn't know what to think. The same officers keep circling the block, so we feel intimidated."
Lynchburg police issued a statement Monday, saying that the use of force is under investigation.
According to the information they have right now, the police chief believes his officers were following department policies.
Police say no medical attention was requested by Carter at the time of the incident, but she disputes the claim. After informing an officer that she was a Medicaid recipient, Carter said she was told that medical attention would "be a waste of taxpayer dollars." She took her son to the hospital emergency room later that night, after he complained of severe pain.