The Baltimore Police Department has suspended an officer with pay after a video went viral showing him brutally assaulting a local man on Saturday.
“I’m deeply disturbed by the video that surfaced online earlier today,” said Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle. “The officer involved has been suspended while we investigate the totality of this incident. Part of our investigation will be reviewing body worn camera footage.”
The video shows an officer punching and tackling 26-year-old Dashawn McGrier to the ground. McGrier was not under arrest at the time of the assault and was reportedly taken to the hospital following the incident. McGrier’s attorney Warren Brown claims his client had a previous run-in with the officer, who he identified as Arthur Williams. That prior encounter took place in June and resulted in several charges against McGrier.
“It seems like this officer had just decided that Dashawn was going to be his punching bag,” Brown said. “And this was a brutal attack that was degrading and demeaning to my client, to that community, and to the police department.”
The police department has not identified Williams as the officer in question.
The incident took place on Saturday, after two officers stopped McGrier and asked for his ID. “When he was asked for his identification, the situation escalated when he refused,” the department said. “The police officer then struck the man several times.”
The viral video quickly generated public outcry, with many people calling on BPD to terminate the officer. Throughout the video, McGrier does not retaliate or punch back as he is taken to the ground.
“The animus, the hatred almost that you could see on the officer’s part, the way he just beat this guy down, was startling. It’s such an ugly act that has such a damning impact on the city as a whole, the police department, police-community relations,” Brown said. “It’s not just an attack on my client, it’s an attack on the whole community.”
You can see the shocking video for yourself below. Warning — it may be difficult to watch.
This Baltimore Police Officer needs to be fired immediately & charged w/ assault. Laws regarding assault still apply to police. This isn’t MMA. Completely shameful. None of that was necessary.
We aren’t asking the city to suspend this man. He needs to be terminated and charged. pic.twitter.com/fCNdEcU2JO
— Shaun King (@shaunking) August 11, 2018