Amid body camera debate, video shows Baltimore police beating man during arrest

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Still from video, via CBS Baltimore
Still from video, via CBS Baltimore

For the second time in a week, Baltimore police are confronting a video that showed an officer using violent force during an arrest. The latest incident comes as city officials push for all officers to wear body cameras.

The latest incident happened early Tuesday outside a Greenmount Avenue nightclub. According to the Baltimore Sun, a group of five officers used batons and Tasers while arresting a man, Jamar Kennedy, outside Melba’s Place.

Police showed Baltimore Sun reporters the video, which was captured on a cell phone camera. According to the report, officers intervened while Kennedy was fighting a bouncer. A Taser was then seen dropping to the ground, and officers move in with batons to try to restrain Kennedy.

Kennedy was eventually restrained, and an officer then got Kennedy’s inhaler for him. CBS Baltimore has the video.

The incident is still under investigation, and police are seeking additional videos. Police Commissioner Anthony Batts offered that he doesn’t want officers “to use force that’s not necessary,” but also won’t stand for people “punching officers.”

Last week, separate video surfaced that shows two officers fighting a man outside a liquor store on East North Avenue. The man, Kollin Truss, filed a $5 million lawsuit against the department.

The videos come as City officials are considering whether officers should have a be able to record incidents at all times. Legislation proposed by two City Councillors would require officers to wear body cameras that captures audio and video, according to WBAL-TV.  Proponents say the cameras could save money since the police won’t have to settle as many multimillion-dollar lawsuits when videos from the public surface. On Wednesday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake countered that she didn’t have any coupons for the upfront purchase.

Body camera proposals are popping up across the country in the wake of the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting, but the videos that have surfaced locally appear to be providing plenty of urgency on their own.

 



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