A video showing police in Baltimore brutally punching a man and knocking him down onto the sidewalk went viral on social media today. You can watch that video here.
The man being punched has come forward and identified himself as Dashawn McGrier. His lawyer, Warren Brown, says the man who beat him is Officer Arthur Williams, a rookie who had a previous hostile encounter with McGrier. You can read more about Officer Williams here.
In the video, two police officers can be seen on the street. One policeman is face to face with a young, African American man. It’s hard to hear what the officer says, but the civilian gets in his face and yells, “go away!” Then the civilian yells, “don’t touch me!”
The cop immediately starts punching him, again and again. His partner seems to be trying half-heartedly to restrain him, but the policeman lands punch after punch, knocking the civilian to the ground, even as the civilian keeps screaming.
Another man is heard saying, “I got it all” — presumably meaning that he’s recording the whole interaction.
The Baltimore Police Department Says The Violent Cop Has Been On The Job Just Over a Year And ‘Was Familiar’ With the Man He Struck
In a statement released on Saturday night, the Baltimore Police Department provided a little more detail about the incident. You can also read the full statement here.
The department still has not released the name of the police officer who punched the civilian. But they say he was a member of a special cross borders crime initiative and has been with the agency for just over a year.
He and his partner were working on an investigation the 2500 block of Monument Street when they came across a civilian whom the police officer knew. They stopped him but released him soon afterwards.
A little later, they encountered the same civilian again, and the first police officer asked him for some information. The man refused, the sitauton quickly “escalated” into the brutal beating which is captured on the video.
The officer who punched the civilian has been suspended, and his partner has been placed on administrative duty while the investigation is ongoing.
The Baltimore Police Commissioner Says He Is ‘Deeply Disturbed’ By the Video
The Baltimore Police Commissioner, Gary Tuggle, issued a statement, saying that he was “disturbed” by the video. He said the officer involved has been suspended pending an investigation. You can read the full text of his statement here.
The police officer’s name has not been released yet. This is a developing story.