We will not argue the fact that Police officers throughout the country have a tough job to do. Situations can escalate quickly at any given moment. However, one officer’s reaction has led him to be suspended.
Furthermore, The Baltimore Sun reports the 26-year-old victim was taken to a local hospital after being assaulted by Officer Arthur Williams.
Video of the violent ordeal has since gone viral and Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle says he is “deeply disturbed.”
We share his sentiments considering the officer’s conduct was counteractive to deescalating the situation. Upon close examination of the video, we find Dashawn McGrier being pushed up against a wall by Officer Williams. Keep in mind, his partner does nothing to de-escalate the situation and simply watches.
Officer Williams and McGrier are involved in a heated argument when suddenly, the officer places his hand on the man’s chest. As the man pushes his hand away, Officer Williams begins to punch McGrier into submission. The amount of force behind each blow is clear.
Showing no signs of resistance, McGrier doesn’t fight back. Williams punches him several times before tackling him to the ground.
McGrier’s attorney Warren Brown provides more context on what occurred before the unnecessary assault took place. According to him, witnesses saw Williams drive past his client. The officer then circled back and exited his vehicle, choosing to target McGrier for no specific reason. They let him go but soon returned, this time to request identification.
Considering he wasn’t being arrested or charged with anything, McGrier saw no reason to hand over his I.D. and cited his violation of rights, and therefore refused to hand it over. Then the situation intensified.
Shockingly, this isn’t the first incident to occur between the cop and the civilian. Their first altercation resulted in McGrier being hit with an onslaught of charges including assaulting the officer, disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering, and resisting arrest. For this reason, Brown says his client was unfairly targeted.
“It seems like this officer had just decided that Dashawn was going to be his punching bag,” Brown stated. “And this was a brutal attack that was degrading and demeaning to my client, to that community, and to the police department,” said Brown.
An investigation is now underway and Officer Williams will still receive pay during his suspension period. Interim Commissioner Tuggle made a point to express this is not how police interact with the community.
“While I have an expectation that officers are out of their cars, on foot, and engaging citizens, I expect that it will be done professionally and constitutionally,” he stated. “I have zero tolerance for behavior like I witnessed on the video today. Officers have a responsibility and duty to control their emotions in the most stressful of situations,” he said.
UPDATE: Officer Arthur Williams, has resigned