It’s another day ending in y, and another group of police officers—this time in Columbus, Ohio—were caught on cellphone footage repeatedly punching and kicking an unarmed black man during an arrest inside a local market.
However, although the suspect, identified as 31-year-old Timothy Davis, is seen in his booking photo with multiple bruises and marks on his face, authorities are apparently attempting to justify the use of force that the officers took in restraining him.
“We are allowed to punch and we are allowed to kick,” Columbus Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Dean Worthington told WCMH-TV, explaining that use of force depends on the behavior of the suspect at the time of the arrest. “That’s part of our use-of-force continuum, and it all depends on what the behavior of the suspect is at the time. Certainly, we don’t want to go out there and punch citizens of our city, but we have the authority, we have the responsibility to arrest people, and sometimes arrests can be ugly.”
Of course, never missing an opportunity, the police had to bring up Davis’ apparent criminal record, which includes charges of resisting arrest and assault. I mean, it’s not as if cops never charge someone with resisting arrest for things like talking back or not responding quickly enough.
According to the news station, the cops went after Davis and followed him into the neighborhood market because there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
A criminal complaint claims that Davis “tensed up to fight” after being told that he was being detained. “Officer grabbed a hold of Mr. Davis and he pulled away. He then took an officer to the ground, fighting and biting officers,” the complaint reads.
In the video taken by a bystander, the officers—of whom there appears to be at least four—can be seen struggling with Davis, repeatedly yelling at him to stop resisting. The officers, who were in plain clothes, are also seen repeatedly punching and kicking Davis.
As the news station notes, Davis’ treatment has sparked outrage in some circles, and activists have taken to the streets to call for justice.
After Davis’ first night in custody, he complained of some medical issues, the news station notes, and had to be transported to a medical center, where he spent the next three days. Davis is now back in jail.
Nevertheless, Worthington did say that the incident will be reviewed by internal affairs to determine if the use of force was within policy guidelines.
Read more at WCMH-TV.