DOVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A controversial arrest that was caught on camera has sparked social media outrage and an independent investigation.
A man is seen pinned to the ground, his face bloodied as a police officer punches him while holding his neck, CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported Monday.
Web Extra: Dover, N.J. Mayor Addresses Controversial Arrest:
The video was uploaded in pieces to Facebook.
The man is seen resisting arrest, as several Dover police officers try to handcuff him. The man is also seen being dragged to an ambulance.
People are heard on the clip cursing at officers, calling their actions police brutality.
The incident happened at around 2 a.m. Sunday right across from police headquarters. Dover Mayor James P. Dodd said police received word the man in the video, identified as 19-year-old Cyperian Luke, was in the area. He was a fugitive wanted for aggravated assault.
Luke appeared in court on Monday afternoon with his face and hands bruised. He pleaded not guilty to the aggravated assault charge. Court records show Luke had been arrested for kicking and choking his daughter’s mother.
“He’s a good young man. He didn’t deserve to be treated that way with physical force. He was not resisting. He was trying to comply, but he was not allowed to,” mother Mary Luke said.
Two patrolmen and one sergeant have been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of an independent investigation, Grymes reported.
“Transparency in these matters is paramount, and I have advised my staff and my departments to provide the attorney general and prosecutor with all they request,” Dodd said. “I understand that we live in an age of social media, where there is a tendency to rush to judgment. However, given the independent investigation now ongoing, I urge everyone to show restraint until all the facts come out and the independent investigation is completed.”
Dodd did not go into many details about the case, but said the town has turned the case over to the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office to conduct an independent investigation, under the supervision of state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.
“Very disturbing, very disturbing,” Dodd said when asked about his reaction to the video. “I will not stand for nor will I tolerate abuse of any kind from any officer towards a member of the public.”
Cyperian Luke is due back in court Thursday. A judge will then decide whether to release him or hold him behind bars.