A Kentucky cop is under fire on social media after he was caught manhandling a passerby livestreaming an arrest on Facebook. The cop, identified as James E Wescott of Jeffersontown police, allegedly gave a 'solid left hook' to Joe Bennett.
Since the death of black man George Floyd during an arrest by the cop, the social media is flooded with videos and livestreams of the activities involving general public and cops, including the arrests.
Bennett Says He Was Doing His Due Diligence As a Citizen
In the video, which has gone viral on the microblogging site with over 1.2 million views, Bennett is heard saying that he was doing his due diligence as a citizen" by documenting and, "this might be the most boring live video ever."
"I am trying to stay away so that I don't get involved or piss off the police. I am just watching. Didn't see the need of five police cars pulling over," Bennett adds as he sits in his car parked almost 50 feet away from the spot where cops pulled over a car. The incident took place at a McDonald's on Bluegrass Parkway.
Three minutes into the video, two officers, including Wescott, approach Bennett and demand his ID. Upon being refused, Wescott is heard saying "You're filming a crime scene investigation... and you're involved."
When refused, the cop is seen quickly grabbing the phone. In a scuffle that follows while trying to get the victim on ground, Wescott struck Bennett. The live stream ends soon after the cops get hold of Bennett's phone. The citation issued to Bennett lists the cop's contact as an 'Empty strike.'
'Just Wanted to Observe'
Speaking to Spectrum News 1, Bennett said that he just wanted to observe, so he tried to give them distance. While the cops describe the hit as empty strike, Bennett said it was a 'solid left hook' which made him visit a doctor for X-rays.
Lt. Col. Steve Schmidt of the Jeffersontown Police Department told the outlet that the officers were investigating and making arrests related to a check fraud scheme thwarted at the Citizens Union Bank across the street from the McDonalds.
"One of the detained suspects pointed Bennett out â while he leaned against his Jeep and filmed from across the parking lot â as the driver involved in the alleged crime," Schmidt said.
[Doing] proper police work, they should have approached me gently. I wasn't going anywhere, I wasn't in my vehicle, I wasn't gonna flee. They certainly shouldn't have hit me first and asked questions later," Bennett responded to the allegations.
Netizens Demand Action Against Cop
The video, which was also shared on Twitter, led to a lot of users demanding action against Wescott. "Here are so many guys like this small penis cop, who become cops because it gives them a License to be mean and cruel ! HEY, E. Wescott, Jeffersontown Police, your kids must be SO proud of your vicious mean azz," wrote a user.
"I am so sick of this illegal shit done by cops. This corrupt cops name is: E Wescott of the Jeffersontown Police. Help expose this MF and get him off the street now," wrote Don Winslow.
"Jeffersontown KY, Officer E Wescott, has some serious anger management issues. Not to mention unprovoked battery against a civilian," expressed another user.
"I hope the good people of Jeffersontown Kentucky will hold unprofessional employee E. Wescott of the Jeffersontown Police Department fully accountable for this unprovoked assault. This has to stop now. Citizens are not paying taxes so they can be assaulted by public servants!" read another tweet.