Michigan cop on leave after arrest video goes viral showing assault suspect crying out, 'I can't breathe'
Lansing police officer on leave after arrest video goes viral
An officer was placed on paid administrative leave as the Lansing Police Department conducts an internal investigation into the arrest captured in a video circulating social media.
A Michigan police officer was placed on paid administrative leave Wednesday after a video circulated on social media showing police struggling with someone they described as a “resistive and combative” assault suspect, before eventually deploying a Taser and placing him under arrest.
After completing a preliminary inquiry with regards to the incident, Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green placed one officer on administrative leave with pay, “pending a formal internal affairs investigation that encompasses review of the actions of all involved Officers.” The officer placed on leave also was not immediately publicly identified.
After the footage was widely viewed online, the Lansing Police Department explained that officers were dispatched to the 800 block of Baker Street at approximately 11:21 p.m. Tuesday after a report of a fight involving between five and six people.
Upon arrival, officers made contact with three individuals standing in the roadway and determined one of them, a 25-year-old male, was the primary suspect in the assault, police said.
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Cell phone video shot from inside a vehicle shows a lengthy struggle outside in the rain between a group of officers and the suspect, whom police say was resisting arrest as they attempted to pin him down on the pavement.
At one point, the suspect can be heard yelling, “I can’t breathe” — the same phrase George Floyd could be heard saying on cell phone video during his own arrest in Minneapolis, Minn.
The video out of Lansing appeared to show the officers back off of the suspect, and one officer can be heard telling others to help roll the suspect over so he can breathe.
The bystander who said he recorded the video of the incident, Brandon Hayduk, told WLNS that he was driving to a local liquor store when he noticed the arrest begin to escalate and started filming.
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“I really feared the worst. I thought I was going to see someone, someone’s life taken in front of me. I was really afraid,” Hayduk told the station. “They didn’t need to arrest him that way, they didn’t. It doesn’t take that many people to subdue someone.”
In the video, Hayduk can also be heard repeatedly telling the officers: “Please don’t kill him.” He also seems to yell to the suspect, telling him to listen to the officer's commands to get on his stomach.
Additional officers responded to assist the arresting officers as the suspect continued to be combative, the police department said in a press release Wednesday.
Officers deployed a Taser and delivered strikes, police said. The suspect was finally placed under arrest and transported to a hospital for an evaluation, which is “standard protocol after a Taser deployment,” according to the department.
After he was cleared, the suspect, who was not immediately named by police, was transported to a Lansing Police Detention facility, and formal charges will be sought with the Ingham County Prosecutor.
Two officers sustained minor injuries during their efforts to arrest the suspect, police said.
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Lansing Council Member Brandon Betz said the incident further justified calls to defund police.
“This is just another example of police doing what they do best, which is being violent against people of color,” Betz said during an interview with WILX. “I think that this points to the effect that we need to be focusing on things like defunding the police and working towards a more equitable system so that police aren’t put in this position and people aren’t put in this position.”
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