A St. Louis man recently filed a lawsuit against the city’s police department after dashcam video footage surfaced of an officer turning the recorder off during his violent arrest, USA Today reports.
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In the suit filed in January, the man, Cortez Bufford, says he was abused by police when he was pulled over on April 10, 2014 after police investigators thought his car matched the description from a call of shots fired, the news outlet writes.
You can hear a man screaming and see a struggle ensue in the police [dashcam] video. A few officers kick Bufford as he continues to fight back, then an officer uses a taser on him.
They are on the ground for nearly two minutes when you hear an officer say, “we are red right now,” which means the camera is on, and then the camera shuts off.
“Hold up, everybody hold up, we are red right now, so if you guys are worried about the cameras just wait,” the unidentified officer said.
Bufford’s attorney says there was no reason for police to pull Bufford over, and certainly no reason to abuse him, the report notes.
“You watch the foot go back and the foot go forward, now I think you can go to the police academy for a long time before they say the right move is to kick they guy,” said Bevis Schock.
During the struggle police found a 9mm pistol, 5 live rounds, and marijuana on Bufford.
A city official said the officer who turned off the camera violated department police and has been disciplined.
Bufford was charged with resisting arrest, along with drug and gun possession, but those charges were later dropped.
Bufford’s lawyers charge that officers used excessive force and he is seeking $500,000 in damages, according to BuzzFeed.
The video footage comes at a time when the national spotlight has been on policing after high-profile police-involved deaths, including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in August and Eric Garner in New York City’s Staten Island community in July.
Watch the video here:
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