A Baltimore police officer has been suspended after a viral video showed him repeatedly punching a man before tackling him to the ground.
“The officer involved has been suspended while we investigate the totality of this incident,” Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said. “Part of our investigation will be reviewing body worn camera footage.”
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In the video, an officer can be seen speaking to Dashawn McGrier, 26, on a sidewalk before things violently escalate. The officer, identified as Arthur Williams, hits McGrier multiple times before wrestling him to the floor. McGrier does not fight back.
TW: Police Violence
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This is a video of the @BaltimorePolice reported to be from earlier today.
— deray (@deray) August 11, 2018
Another police officer in the video does not try to intervene. Authorities say that this second officer has been placed on administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation, the ABC News reports.
McGrier’s lawyer confirmed that his client was taken to a hospital and had X-rays taken of his jaw, nose, and ribs late Saturday for suspected fractures from the altercation.
He also confirmed that Williams and McGrier had a previous run-in in June that led to the arrest of McGrier. He was later charged with assaulting an officer, disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering, and resisting arrest.
“It seems like this officer had just decided that Dashawn was going to be his punching bag,” McGrier’s attorney Warren Brown told the Baltimore Sun. “And this was a brutal attack that was degrading and demeaning to my client, to that community, and to the police department.”
Baltimore residents and activists have been vocal about their shock after watching the video.
“…And this is why folks don’t have any faith in the police,” activist Deray McKesson tweeted along with a video of the incident. [Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh], what’s your response to this? What is happening with the consent decree?”
Mayor Pugh put out a statement late Saturday that called the incident “disturbing.”
“We are working day and night to bring about a new era of community-based, Constitutional policing and will not be deterred by this or any other instance that threatens our efforts to re-establish the trust of all citizens in the Baltimore Police Department,” the mayor said.
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