A video from the weekend is going viral. It shows a Huntsville police officer repeatedly punching what appears to be a suspect.
The video of Huntsville police officers arresting a man has been shared hundreds of times and watched by thousands since it was posted on Facebook early Sunday morning. Many people who watched are questioning whether the punches that were thrown by the officer was necessary.
“I do think the police can be excessive and it was excessive in the video,” said Taylor Ramey. “Watching it, it’s a sad occurrence, one it happens seemingly far too often,” added Damon Staples.
In the video, you can see two police officers holding a man down on the ground. You can hear one officer telling the offender he is under arrest, followed by the officer punching the man several times.
“To me without knowing what happened before that, I don’t know if that’s extreme but from watching the video it looks a little extreme from just watching the video,” said Hank Wallace.
HPD said the video on social media only captured 44-seconds of a struggle they say lasted more than four minutes. The man was being arrested for public intoxication. Police said he was resisting arrest and the officer threw those punches in an attempt to get the offender to release the officer’s hand.
“Based on what I see in the video, it’s no justification for it but of course there’s more information that needs to be gathered, so I’ll remain optimistic that the process will bring about the truth,” continued Staples.
HPD’S Internal Affairs Division said the officers acted within policy. While police did capture the entire incident on both dashcam and bodycam, they are not releasing that footage to the public.
“Of course we have to know both sides of the story, it could be definitely something that resulted or had just cause for that,” Wallace added.
HPD tells WZDX officers are trained to strike offenders in large muscle areas.