Tyrone Pugh (pictured), a South Carolina police officer, was suspended over the weekend after a video surfaced on social media, showing him allegedly throwing repeated blows at a man who was lying on the pavement, according to the State.
The 15-second video shows Officer Tyrone Pugh (pictured above) allegedly pummeling a man who is laying on the ground.
The incident reportedly began about 2 a.m. Sunday in downtown Columbia when about 300 college students spilled out of a local venue after attending a birthday party and a fight broke out, the report says. Five off-duty police officers providing security responded to the scene, the State reports:
A brief cellphone video taken around 2 a.m. shows a Columbia police officer, his back to the camera, on top of a man who is lying in the parking lot. He strikes him over and over with what appears to be his fist and yells, “Stay on the ground!” The young woman who took the video, identified as Robyn Hogg, is shouting repeatedly, “Why are you punching him?”
Watch the video of Officer Pugh allegedly hitting the man here:
USA Today reports:
Police say Pugh, an investigator and Army sergeant, has had no disciplinary action taken against him since he was hired by the city police department in 2007. It’s unclear how long the investigation could take.
Columbia, S.C., Mayor Steve Benjamin said the officer was suspended after he spoke to the Police Chief Skip Holbrook about the video. John O’Leary, a former director of the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy, said that the incident highlights the importance of police body cameras, “Body cameras can’t hurt police – it’s just going to reveal the facts, either good or bad. They will also make the officer think twice before he loses his temper or overreacts.”