A disturbing video that surfaced Sunday on social media shows Louisville, Kentucky police officers beating up a Black driver. It’s unclear why the stop escalated into a violent arrest.
The footage, posted to the Facebook account of Tonniqua Wales, shows three cops pulling a man out of his vehicle and slamming him to the pavement at a gas station. One of the cops punches him multiple times before he’s handcuffed. It drew the attention of bystanders who appeared to pull out their mobile phones to record the arrest.
After the video circulated on social media, the Louisville Metro Police launched an investigation into exactly what happened at the Kroger supermarket gas station on Sunday, The Courier-Journal reported.
“LMPD is aware of the incident on Broadway this afternoon. We are in the process of collecting all body camera footage available from officers who were present. We have already begun a review of the incident, as we do in every case where force is used by officers,” a police spokesman said.
Alicia Brown, who live streamed the arrest, said the unidentified suspect refused to exit his vehicle when the cops pulled him over, according to the newspaper. An officer grabbed the man’s soda and poured it on his lap. That’s when the encounter appeared to escalate.
Another witness has a video showing the man in handcuffs trying to run away from the arresting officers. But three of the cops forced him to the ground, with one of them pressing a knee in his chest.
This video comes on the heels of footage released on Dec. 3 of a separate incident involving officers in the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections. It shows an officer punching a handcuffed inmate in the face in April.
Officer David Schwartz slugs 19-year-old Terry Whitehead in a cell after asking the inmate why toilet paper was covering his cell window. Schwartz and Devan Edwards, the other LMDC officer in the video, were fired immediately after another corrections officer brought the video to officials. Whitehead is suing Schwartz and Edwards for excessive force, assault and battery.
Brown and Wales did not return a request from the Courier-Journal for more information about what they witnessed.