A Baltimore police officer was suspended with pay by the department Saturday after a video emerged showing him repeatedly punching a man in the face before taking him to the ground.
Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said he was “deeply disturbed” by the video, and that the incident is under investigation.
“The officer involved has been suspended while we investigate the totality of this incident,” Tuggle said. “Part of our investigation will be reviewing body worn camera footage.”
Police said a second officer on the scene at the time of the incident was placed on administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation.
Attorney Warren Brown, who is representing the man who was punched, identified his client as Dashawn McGrier, 26. Brown said McGrier was not being charged with a crime, but was taken to a hospital and was having X-rays taken of his jaw, nose and ribs late Saturday for suspected fractures from the altercation.
Brown said McGrier had a previous run-in with the same police officer — whom he identified as Officer Arthur Williams — in June that resulted in McGrier being charged with assaulting the officer, disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering, and resisting arrest. Brown said that in that incident and in the one Saturday, McGrier was targeted without justification by the officer.
“It seems like this officer had just decided that Dashawn was going to be his punching bag,” Brown said. “And this was a brutal attack that was degrading and demeaning to my client, to that community, and to the police department.”
Williams could not be reached for comment.
Tuggle did not identify the officer or the man who was punched, but the department said the officer has been on the force for just over a year.