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Family of 19-year-old hurt by federal agent, misidentified as suspect, files claim against city of Phoenix

Posted at 10:05 AM, Jun 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-08 18:28:33-04

PHOENIX — The family of a misidentified teenager injured by a federal agent has reportedly filed an $11.5 million notice of claim against the City of Phoenix.

A press conference with family, lawyers David Dow and Benjamin Taylor, and Reverend Jarrett Maupin, a civil rights leader, took place Monday morning.

Dion Humphrey, 19, was shot in January by a federal agent after a Phoenix officer misidentified the teen as someone involved in an attempted murder case.

Humphrey said he was walking home from dropping his sisters off at school when he heard what sounded like a gunshot from a white vehicle, so he took off running.

The teen didn't know at the time, that the unmarked vehicle was the Phoenix Police Department and the ATF firing a stun grenade as they thought he was a suspect in a case being investigated by the Special Assignment Unit.

Humphrey said he was then blocked off by a second unmarked vehicle, was hit with less-lethal force, and tackled to the ground.

Authorities said they misidentified the teen because they were searching for his half brother, who they wanted to question in connection to the crimes.

The teen suffers from a medical condition of sickle cell anemia and asthma, making him very fragile, according to his family. The teen weighs no more than 90 pounds.

Humphrey suffered swelling around his heart from the encounter with law enforcement and will likely need further surgery and treatments due to the incident.

During Monday's press conference, Humphrey's father said police were trying to "inflict pain." He said he doesn't believe the incident would have occurred if the boy was not an African-American.

"He's never been in trouble with anyone," Humphrey's father said, saying the teen rarely goes out due to his condition and the only reason he was out was to drop his sisters off at school.

Humphrey himself spoke during a press conference, saying he "felt like he was going to die." He said he told the police he wanted to call his mom and that he needed help, but police said he had the right to remain silent before questioning him for hours at the police station.

Police have reportedly not released any reports regarding the incident.