Missouri police are being scrutinized after a disturbing video surfaced which appears to show cops using excessive force to arrest a man as he struggles to maintain his footing with his infant cradled in his arms.
A cellphone video was released showing two St. Louis County police officers engaged in a tug of war with the man as they try to pull the baby from his arms and arrest him after a domestic violence report was made, the Daily Mail reports. At one point, it appears they aimed the taser at the baby.
Bystanders can be heard on the video screaming for mercy for the man and for the police to let him go because of the baby. The infant at one point could be heard crying at the top of its lungs as officers pressed the man to the ground while refusing to let go and holding the baby tightly.
On Monday, St. Louis County police, however, released a statement saying the arrest wasn’t as dramatic as it appeared and the video was edited.
“The video was a culmination of a domestic assault call in which officers were attempting to safely take the suspect into custody and secure a young child. It is selectively edited and depicts only portions of what occurred,” St. Louis County Police Department said.
Police contend that they were answering a call of a domestic dispute in which the 28-year-old mother of the child reported that the man assaulted her and fled with their infant baby.
Cops said they approached the man and told him he was about to be arrested, but he resisted several times, “while continually placing the young child between himself and the officer.”
Authorities said they worked to de-escalate the situation with verbal commands and tried to use the least amount of force to secure the baby, but the suspect refused to comply.
The man reportedly had “numerous outstanding warrants” and was arrested for Domestic Assault in the Fourth Degree, Property Damage in the Second Degree, and Resisting Arrest.
The baby reportedly was not hurt and was safely returned to his mother.
Cops also said that a taser was not deployed as some reports stated.
“Our department investigates incidents in their entirety and does not limit that investigation to what parts may or may not have been video recorded,” the police said.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story referred to the St. Louis police, but in actuality the St. Louis County police was the subject.