Detroit officer shown punching Black man in face in viral video
"I did not see de-escalation there, I did not see our training there," says James White, the interim police chief.
Interim Detroit police chief James White said he has some “serious concerns” after watching a video showing a man getting punched in the face by a police officer in Greektown Saturday night.
The 45-second viral footage shows the punch sends the man to the ground — appearing to knock him out cold. The triggering scene prompted a debate on social media about police use of excessive force.
“I have some serious concerns as to how that was handled. We’ve come to expect our officers to de-escalate situations, I did not see de-escalation there, I did not see our training there,” said interim chief White at a press conference on Monday, as reported by WXYZ.
The video titled “Detroit pigs handing out the brain damage” was posted on Reddit on Sunday — getting more than 100,000 views in less than six hours.
It’s unclear what transpired before the unidentified male is assaulted by a member of the Detroit police force. The initial clip starts several seconds before the cop punches the man in the jaw.
Police later provided Steve Neavling at Detroit Metro Times with additional footage showing the victim sparring with a group of cops as another bystander attempts to defuse the situation.
The unnamed male refuses to back down. Watch both angles via the Twitter clips above.
“You all ain’t got to do that, dog,” a man is heard saying off-camera after the cop punch.
“He approached him with every intention to sucker punch him,” Reddit user Conway2709 said, according to the report. “Watch his body language as he is walking up to him – he’s just waiting for the perfect moment to catch him off guard and assault him.
What a f— piece of shit. Imagine if one of us did that, we’d be thrown in jail and face serious charges. This guy just gets to go home and continue his daily life. Unreal.”
“I think it was excessive,” said social media user Deonnel Hicks, per the report. “I know they’re trying to police and get everything to be calm and peaceful, but to just come up and knock somebody out. They could’ve at least tried to do it in a different way.”
The officer who threw the mighty blow is said to be under investigation amid a review of the case by internal affairs.
“The Detroit Police Department was made aware, via social media, of an allegation of excessive force in Greektown,” Second Deputy Police Chief Rudy Harper told Metro Times. “Internal Affairs is reviewing the circumstances surrounding this allegation.”
“We will be transparent, we are going to hold our officers accountable,” he added.
“DPD is committed to remaining transparent throughout this process and will provide updates to the community and our media partners as soon as practicable,” Harper said.
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