Mentally disabled man who attempted to steal $2.18 water tasered, assaulted with knee strikes by Memphis Police

22-year-old Kelvin Carter was charged with theft of merchandise, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest after walking into the Hop In Exxon on Summer Avenue, stealing a $2.18 vitamin water, and getting caught by police before attempting to leave.

On March 12th, Officer Linn was at the Hop In Exxon on Summer Avenue and observed Kelvin Carter walk inside, take a pink vitamin water off the shelf, and attempt to walk out. The officer grabbed Kelvin’s arm, the vitamin water from his hand, and told him to leave the store because Kelvin was known to have mental issues.

Kelvin Carter (SCSO)

According to the affidavit, Kelvin then yelled back at the officer and said “You think I’m playing with you? Pull your gun out! Pull your gun out!” The officer noted while this was happening, Kelvin was flexing both of his arms and balling up his fists like he was going to hit the officer.

The officer then stepped behind a shelf, pulled out Oleoresin capsicum spray, and warned Kelvin he was about to get sprayed. Kelvin then walked out of the business. Officer Linn requested and Officers Crawford and Bartlett arrived on scene. When they arrived, Kelvin walked toward their patrol car and put his hands up. Officers then grabbed Kelvin’s arms and walked him to the patrol vehicle, where he was put on the hood where officers then commanded Kelvin several times to put his hands behind his back. Officers attempted to place handcuffs on Kelvin, but according to the affidavit, Kelvin was resisting and attempting to escape.

Officers then proceeded to spray Kelvin with OC spray, grabbed his legs and took him to the ground, then struck Kelvin with two knee strikes. During this, Kelvin was yelling at officers “don’t kill me”. Officer Crawford then tased Kelvin due to his “continued resistance”. Officers noted the taser had no effect and Kelvin started to run away until officers ran after him, grabbed him, and tased him a second time causing him to fall to the ground. Several other officers then arrived on scene and Kelvin was finally placed into handcuffs. Officers also noted that Randal Williams, a clerk at the business, witnessed the entire incident. Kelvin was transported to Regional One Health to be checked and medically cleared before being transported to 201 Poplar.

Kelvin Carter was arrested and charged with theft of merchandise, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. He was later released on his own recognizance.

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