LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville Metro Police will conduct an internal investigation into an officer who was filmed repeatedly punching a man in the face during an arrest Sunday in Jefferson Square Park, said Chief Erika Shields in a statement.
Shields, who did not name the officer, said his conduct raised “serious questions and was inconsistent with LMPD training.”
“Our officers have to deal with difficult situations every day. It is part of our job. My expectation of officers is to handle these incidents professionally and in accordance with their training, every time,” the chief said in her statement. “… a professional standards investigation will immediately be opened into the conduct of the officer as well as the on-site supervisor.” ”
A video of officers arresting Denorver Garrett, 29, was captured by Jaime Hendricks and shared on social media by Riotheart, a member of independent media collective 502LiveStreamers. On Monday, his eye swollen, Garrett said he “wanted justice” from the department.
âI have the right to protest,â Garrett said. “I will continue to do this. I could have been a George Floyd yesterday.”
As the 85 second clip of Hendricks begins, an officer can be heard telling Garrett, “You are under arrest.”
A spectator can be heard asking the police, “What did he do?”
Garrett has been charged with second degree disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Garrett’s arrest report says officers were told by the Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) that Garrett “stood in the middle of the street” on Sixth and West Jefferson streets “holding a large wooden cross” from 3:27 p.m. to 4:05 p.m.
“It was causing disturbance to the public and causing a safety problem for motorists,” the report said.
Video of Hendricks’ arrest shows an officer standing behind Garrett and holding his hands together as two other officers watch within reach. Someone can be heard in the video saying, “Don’t flex on me, man. Don’t flex on me,” and the officer behind Garrett then takes a pair of handcuffs from his belt.
As the officer struggles to put a handcuff around one of Garrett’s hands, someone can be heard in the video saying, “Stop flexing on me.”
Someone replies, âI’m not flinching. I’m not doing anything. Garrett’s face is turned away from the camera and obscured by a pole during this portion of the video.
In Garrett’s arrest report, police said he “resisted officers’ movements to bring his hands together enough to put on handcuffs. He was given strong verbal orders to stop resisting and place his hands behind. his back that he did not follow. ”
In the video of Hendricks’ arrest, the officer appears to secure a handcuff around one of Garrett’s hands, and Garrett moves slightly. Someone then shouts “Stop”, to which Garrett can be heard and seen responding, “I’m not doing anything.” ”
A second officer then appears to put his hands on Garrett as the officer who was first behind him puts an arm to his chest. You can hear someone say, âPut your hands together nowâ.
The video then shows an officer putting one leg between Garrett’s legs. Garrett takes a step back and the officers start trying to force him to the ground. An officer who was standing in front of Garret and blocking the camera’s view of the interaction comes forward and joins the other two officers in an attempt to hold Garrett back.
As Garrett is forced to the ground, the video shows the officer who originally attempted to handcuff him throwing his first punch in the face. Video shows the officer throwing at least three more punches in Garrett’s face as he and other officers force him to take him to the ground.
An officer can be heard in the video shouting, âPut your hands behind your back and stop resisting – now. ”
âRegardless of what he did or didn’t do, we have this thing called the presumption of innocence in our constitution,â said Garrett’s lawyer David Mour. “When they take him into custody, he’s innocent, and that’s how we treat an innocent black man.”
Video shows Garrett stops moving and the police handcuff him. As officers lift Garrett up and lead him away from Jefferson Square Park, someone can be heard on video telling the officers that they “broke his glasses.”
“He was standing on the sidewalk,” someone can be heard shouting at the officers leading Garrett away. “Why did you have to stop and do this?” ”
Bryanna Courtney, who was in Jefferson Square Park with her mother and 10-year-old brother, said watching Garrett’s arrest was “traumatic”.
“I really didn’t see someone I care about getting beaten up by the police in front of my face,” Courtney said Sunday night. “… They broke his glasses where his eye was swollen, and I have his lens in the car.”
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