Arresting officers in Virginia are under investigation after video surfaced of them allegedly beating and brutalizing a handcuffed Black man this past weekend.
According to reports by Virginia-based news outlet WAVY, the incident took place in a Portsmouth, Virginia apartment complex on Saturday. They also report that the two officers were involved in mismanaging a crowd of witnesses and hitting a handcuffed man.
The video shows a Black man in handcuffs on the ground while a white officer is standing above him. The officer is surrounded by a crowd of witnesses who allege that the handcuffed man was beaten and tased.
WAVY spoke to 27-year-old Tiara Bailey, who recorded the video and lent narration throughout.
“It was this commotion because he was on top of the man punching him, punching him and the other one was beating him, and after they beat him they tased him and they maced him so they did all this while he was handcuffed,” Bailey said.
The young woman tells reporters that she was visiting family that Saturday afternoon. Bailey also stated that she started recording the incident as she was leaving.
According to her testimony, the officers tampered with her video after attacking the handcuffed man.
Raw Story reports that a second officer came into the picture and hurled profanity-laced commands at the witnesses.
“Everybody out here needs to disperse. Get the f**k back into your apartment. This is an unlawful assembly. Get back to your apartment,” the unidentified officer said.
However, when one of the female residents standing around told the officers that she lived in the apartment complex, he threatens to get her evicted.
In addition to the internal investigation, the local chapter of the NAACP has also gotten involved. Portsmouth NAACP president James Boyd said in a statement:
“While we are unclear of what lead to the arrest, there are several aspects of the encounter depicted in the video in which officers did not respect the basic First Amendment rights of innocent bystanders to peacefully assemble and to record officers without disturbing police procedures. Officers using foul, offensive and aggressive language towards innocent bystanders while threatening to have them evicted from their homes is disturbing, unprofessional and potentially abusive behavior which should not be tolerated.”