Grand Rapids, Michigan police officer punches suspect during traffic stop arrest. Department chief defends actions
Bodycam footage of the incident, provided by an attorney for the beaten man Diabate Hood, shows at least four officers trying to handcuff Hood while he is on the ground next to a stopped vehicle. An officer hits Hood several times in the face with his fist. Hood yelled “my eye” several times.
Grand Rapids Police Department has failed to identify the officer who hit Hood or any other officer involved. CNN has made an open request for all of the other body camera videos of the incident.
“This is the policing I expect my staff to do,” said GRPD chief Eric Payne. “I’ve made violent crime enforcement and the recovery of illegal firearms a top priority for the department.”
GRPD Special Response Team officers monitored a street south of downtown Grand Rapids on March 26 as part of Operation: Safe Neighborhoods when they disrupted traffic for a trash violation, according to a GRPD statement released on Wednesday.
The officers further investigated “based on the actions, behavior and behavior of inmates,” the statement said.
“As a result of the investigation, one of the subjects tried to flee and resist the officers,” the GRPD said.
But attorney Tyrone Bynum told CNN that Hood “plans to sue GRPD, the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the city manager.” According to Bynum, Hood was driving the vehicle when he was “run over and then hit by the GRPD”.
In the video, officers are heard saying “stop resisting” while Hood covers his face with his hand after he has been beaten and then extends his arm to one of the officers. Hood replies that he won’t resist.
The officers tell Hood to “relax” while they try to handcuff him.
At one point there is a scuffle and officers appear to pile on Hood, who repeatedly yells that he cannot breathe. One of the officers replies, “You are breathing right here, brother.” During the arrest, Hood shows Hood screaming “my eye,” and an officer replies, “I don’t care about your eye.” Another tells him to shut up.
Hood is currently criminally charged with attempting to disarm a police officer during the incident, carrying hidden weapons, and assaulting or resisting a police officer, court records show. Bryum did not comment on the charges against his client.
“Violence was deemed necessary to stop the threat and effect the arrest,” the GRPD said.
“The result of the obstruction was three arrests of criminal offenses and the recovery of four firearms,” said GRPD. The police have not yet identified any of the arrested people and it is not clear how many people were in the vehicle.
“To date, no internal affairs complaints have been filed in this incident,” said GRPD.
CNN has reached out to the City of Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Police Officers Association for comment on Hood’s intent to file a lawsuit.