This article was originally posted on WJZ TV NEWS
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After a Baltimore Police officer was caught on camera attacking a man on a sidewalk, the cop’s behavior is being criticized by local leaders and the community is demanding accountability.
After video of the confrontation surfaced, the officer was immediately suspended, but some are asking for the officer to be completely removed from the force.
A tense encounter in east Baltimore turned violent Saturday afternoon as video appears to show a Baltimore Police officer brutally beating a man, identified as Dashawn McGrier, to the ground. McGrier does not appear to fight back.
“Disgust and disappointment, to be honest. I think when you look at that you see everything that is wrong with the police department and not everything that is right,” Baltimore councilmember Brandon Scott said.
Scott said the officer’s actions are unacceptable and that he should be fired.
“This is someone who could not take verbal things coming at them and as a police officer, anyone in public service that’s something you’re going to have to deal with,” he said.
McGrier was treated at a local hospital for damaged ribs and a fractured jaw. His family is demanding justice.
“Angry, I was crying. I was hurt ’cause I felt like I couldn’t do anything to protect him and we couldn’t do anything when we someone we care about,” said Shantel Allen, McGrier’s sister.
McGrier’s lawyer Warren Brown said Saturday’s beating is the second time this officer has attacked McGrier. A video captured the first alleged fight back in June.
It’s troubling behavior that some say further damages police-community relations.
“This created a larger wedge man, you know. It’s almost you took us back five or six years from this alone,” said Terry Williams, McGrier’s mentor.
Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle released the following statement:
“On a day that we graduated future Baltimore police officers, I am deeply concerned by the conduct I witnessed today,” said Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle. “While I have an expectation that officers are out of their cars, on foot, and engaging citizens, I expect that it will be done professionally and constitutionally. 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.”
Mayor Catherine Pugh also released a statement late Saturday afternoon:
“I have seen the very disturbing video of an encounter between a Baltimore City police officer and Baltimore City resident and have demanded answers and accountability. I am in close contact with interim commissioner Tuggle who has not only suspended the officer in question but has launched an immediate investigation into the full circumstances of this encounter. 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 second officer involved was placed on administrative duties, and neither of the officers’ identities has been released.