In a video that has accrued over 140,000 views according to KLFY, a man can clearly be seen being beaten by an officer while being restrained by two other law enforcement officials on the pavement. Screaming while what appears to be a friend or partner struggles to assist him while a citizen restrains her, holding her back, the man is subjected to a flurry of vicious punches to the head and face from the officer who is mounted atop him. The officer who struck the man laying on the ground also threatens his partner with arrest if she continues to try and interfere with the arrest, yelling “Back the f*** up, or you’re going to jail!”
Throughout, the booming bass of a nearby dance club thunders over top.
The video has gone viral and was recorded by a bystander by the name of Patrick King, who posted the 50-second clip to social media platforms Facebook and Twitter.
King says he was bothered by the event in a statement made on his Twitter account. Following a five-post description of his feelings on the matter, indicting the law enforcement officers for use of excessive, uncalled for force in arresting a small an alleged defenseless man, King closed with the following quote on the matter.
“I left the scene with rage, anger, (and) disappointment,” King wrote. “I don’t think I’ve ever cried because I was so damn angry at a situation like I did this one.”
The police chief responsible for the officers conducting the arrest, Brian Manley, addressed the viral video – and the incident shown within it – on Twitter yesterday.
“Thank you for bringing this video to our attention and allowing us time to look into the incident,” Manley posted. “As is standard protocol, the officers chain of command is reviewing all details surrounding this incident.”
The comments below are a mixture of disgust and support for law enforcement officers on the scene, though the former seems to be more numerous than the latter at first glance. Supporters of the action generally seem to be saying that there is more than meets the eye going on, implying that we are only privy to one perspective of the event for less than a minute – while detractors make the case that there is no excuse for the behavior shown in the viral video and that it is police brutality no matter which way you look at it.
Earlier this year, Police Chief Manley implemented a new policy which requires officers on scene to immediately attempt to de-escalate volatile scenarios. Police watchdog and oversight groups helped to craft the policy which was implemented in January.
The new policy demands that supervisors determine whether the officer that used force in any given situation had attempted to de-escalate first and considered these options strongly before moving ahead with the use of force. Violations of this new policy could result in disciplinary actions, including formal reprimand or termination outright.