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‘Disturbing’ video showing officer beat man on Baltimore sidewalk prompts suspension

A Baltimore police officer has been suspended with pay after a viral video showed him raining blows Saturday on a man who does not appear to be resisting, police said. The city’s mayor called the video “disturbing.”
A Baltimore police officer has been suspended with pay after a viral video showed him raining blows Saturday on a man who does not appear to be resisting, police said. The city’s mayor called the video “disturbing.”

A Baltimore police officer confronts a man on a sidewalk Saturday, pushing him against a wall, in a video shot by a bystander.

“So what? Don’t touch me,” the African American man shouts, slapping the officer’s hand away. The officer, also African American, begins punching him repeatedly in the head, the video shows. The man holds out his hands to try to deflect the blows but does not appear to fight back.

A second officer, also African American, stands by and does not initially intervene as onlookers cry out in surprise, the video shows.

Staggering away as the officer rains blows on him, the man trips and falls across some concrete steps to a doorway. The officer leaps on him and continues punching him in the head, the video shows, as they both slide off the steps onto the sidewalk.

The second officer approaches and appears to grab the other officer, who stops punching and pushes the man’s head down with his elbow, the video shows. Blood smears the sidewalk as the man and onlookers shout. The video cuts off.

“I’m deeply disturbed by the video that surfaced online earlier today,” said Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle, according to ABC News. “I have zero tolerance for behavior like I witnessed on the video today. Officers have a responsibility and duty to control their emotions in the most stressful of situations.”

The officer had been suspended with pay for a full investigation, including review of any body cam video, Tuggle told the network, but later Sunday police reported on Twitter that the officer had resigned.

The second officer has been placed on administrative duties during the investigation.

The man in the video, Dashawn McGrier, 26, was taken to a hospital for possible injuries to his jaw, nose and ribs, said his attorney, Warren Brown, according to The Baltimore Sun. McGrier has not been charged with any crime in the incident.

Brown told the publication that McGrier had a previous run-in with the officer, whom he identified as Officer Arthur Williams, in June. McGrier faces charges of assaulting the officer, disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering, and resisting arrest in connection with that incident.

“He is charged with assaulting that officer then, and so here this officer now is like, you know, going after him,” Brown told CBS News. “It’s just gratuitous violence that’s unnecessary and does no good for the city.”

Williams could not be reached for comment, reported The Sun.

Police told WBFF the 11:45 a.m. incident on Monument Street began when police asked McGrier for identification, which he refused to provide.

Shantel Allen, 28, a friend of McGrier, told The Sun she was shocked by the violence.

“I was speechless. I was enraged. I was hurt. I was shocked more than anything. That is really something you don’t expect,” she said, according to the publication. “I truly feel as though this officer needs to be dealt with in a very serious manner, so none of his fellow officers or anyone else in the criminal justice system feels like they can use this kind of force.”

Mayor Catherine Pugh issued a statement on Twitter calling the video “deeply 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,” reads the post.

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