In a viral video posted online on Sunday, police officers in Akron, OH, can be seen pinning a purported suspect on the ground, using a Taser and chokeholding on him, and then delivering at least a dozen blows to the man’s body after backup arrived.
The video, which local station WKYC3 reported was filmed on the 300 block of Para Avenue and was first posted on Facebook by user Spenn DeBabii, opens with two officers struggling to get a white man on his stomach. After a brief struggle to flip the man over, one officer used his Taser to stun the man several times on the bare skin of his back, screaming “Roll over!” and telling him, “You’re going to get [the Taser] again,” before eventually wrestling the man onto his stomach.
About two minutes into the video, two other officers sprinted up from an off-camera police car. The larger one sat on the man’s legs and butt and can then be seen delivering at least a dozen blows to the man’s body while the other three officers hold him down. The entire time, the man can be heard groaning.
When the bystanders behind the camera questioned the police for beating the man—at least three different voices could be heard speaking to the officers on the scene, with one saying “Y’all can’t be punching him like that!”—an officer who took a break from the takedown responded, “Are you fucking kidding me, can’t you see him riding us?” By the time it was all said and done, eight officers had responded to assist with the arrest.
According to WKYC 3, the Akron police defended their actions, saying the man was a “fugitive from the Cleveland area” and that he was later admitted to the hospital due to drugs he had taken prior to the beating. DeBabii can be heard toward the end of the video saying the man was “a veteran” that lived across the street, adding that he just “smoke[d] weed” and that before the camera started rolling, “He wasn’t doing nothing but walking.”