Black activists came together against police brutality Sunday and called for the firing of two officers after the brutal videotaped arrest of a Black man in Sarasota, Florida.
Black Lives Matter Manasota held a protest for Chad Washington, a 35-year-old man who was violently restrained and tasered by Sarasota police—and then charged with assaulting officers. The group released a portion of the video of Washington’s arrest, taking place in front of his children at his home on Thursday.
Two police officers punched, choked and kicked Washington Thursday night after his fiancée called 911 about the man vomiting and foaming at the mouth, Washington’s fiancée, Darnesha McMillan, told the Bradenton Herald, a Florida newspaper.
Officers made their way into Washington’s home and arrived before paramedics, McMillan said, adding that their five children were home at the time. Cops, who were not called to the home, also tasered the man for 15 minutes, she explained.
“He never hit an officer,” McMillan said in her statement. “Instead of them coming to help, they came to brutalize and use excessive force out of fear of him being a black male.”
An officer actually reached for his gun during the encounter, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported.
Video released by BLM, who stood by McMillan’s account, showed Washington being tasered by an officer. He was on the ground between the curb and a patrol car, the footage revealed.
However, cops alleged that Washington was being violent and under the influence of spice, a synthetic drug. Officers also said he was in possession of MDMA. They charged him with three counts of battery on a law enforcement officer and one count of possession of a controlled substance. He was taken to the Sarasota County jail.
Washington, who suffered a broken nose and had bruises, should get justice, BLM activists said at Sunday’s protest. McMillan stands in solidarity with the activists.
“I’m here because I’m a witness to everything that happened,” McMillan, who wants the officers involved to be fired and charged with attempted murder, said to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “I’m going to get the truth out.”