A video showing a white DC cop repeatedly punching a black man as fellow cops restrained him and stood guard has gone viral on the social media. Following the widespread outrage, three police officers have been suspended.
Stating that the incident was inconsistent with the department's training, tactics and values, Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said that he was embarrassed and ashamed by what he saw.
Cop Was Punching a Restrained Black Man
The viral clip of the incident, which took place in the 1500 block of U Street SE, near the Ketcham Recreation Center in Anacostia, on Sunday, shows a black man being restrained by three cops against a fence. All of a sudden, a white cop, whose name was not revealed by the authorities, starts punching the victim with his left hand.
According to the police chief, the officers were arresting the 23-year-old black man after they saw a suspected drug transaction and then felt a handgun tucked in the alleged suspect's clothing.
The crowd gathered nearby keeps on asking the cops why they were punching the restrained man. At this point another cop who is standing guard against the crowd asks them to "back off". It also appears in the clip that another officer also punches the alleged victim. Throughout the clip, the black man doesn't try to strike the cops, despite being punched repeatedly in the face.
Later, the white cop is seen moving across the street, as the two cops continue to hold the black man against the fence. The cops are seen calling for backup as the situation escalates with crowd throwing things and trashcan at the cops.
Social Media Lashes Out at Erring Cops
The Washington Post reported that while addressing a press conference on Monday, Contee said, "I am embarrassed, disturbed, disheartened, and ashamed of what I've seen. This is not the way we train our members to get illegal firearms off the streets." The police chief also state that the officers found a firearm, identified in a report as a .45-caliber handgun, from the black man and he was taken into custody.
The viral clip caused widespread outrage on the social media. "That is so brave punching a man restrained by several others. So macho. Should be fired!" wrote a Twitter user.
"What was the purpose of punching him in the face? Was it going to make it easier to put on the cuffs? They were four police officers there and they couldn't put the man on the ground to put on the cuffs? Just like everything else training training training!" wrote another user.
"Aren't they trained to deal with this situation and get someone under control? Punching someone in the head multiple times isn't part of that standard procedure," read another tweet.