It’s amazing on what you will see cops do, when looking at their dash cam footage.
A video has just been released showing an excessive use of force in a lawsuit against the St. Louis Police Department. An officer is heard warning fellow police officers that they are being watched on the dash cam, as they beat a man on the streets.
Before turning off the camera, the officer is heard saying:
Hold up, hold up, y’all. Everybody hold up. It’s red right now, so if you’re worried about cameras, just wait.
If you’re not familiar with what “red” means, that is officer slang for “the tape is rolling.”
The video is from April of last year, and would have been released earlier if not for the request of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. He enlisted the help of a private lawyer to delay the release last summer, given its potentially upsetting contents.
It’s not pretty when your town’s officers pull a man from a car, kick him repeatedly and shock him with a Taser – and then attempt to cover it up. All charges levied against the beaten man were dropped later.
The officers pulled over 18 year-old Cortez Bufford that night because there were 911 reports of shots fired near Lafayette Square. Officer’s Nathaniel Burkemper and Michael Binz noticed a silver Ford Taurus making an illegal U-turn and this caused him to be stopped.
The young man’s lawyers allege that not only did officers continue to beat up their client after turning off the video, but that they “banged him up pretty good.”
The lawsuit says that Bufford suffered abrasions to his fingers, face, back, head, ears and neck, and incurred medical bills totaling $6,439.32. It is seeking an unspecified amount of damages from Burkemper, Jenkins, and two other officers.
On top of this, Schwartz maintains that the U-turn his client made was actually legal. He said that his client had every right to refuse getting out of the car, before officers pulled him out and started assaulting him.
The officers in this case claim things that can’t be determined from the video alone. For instance, Bufford was supposedly “reaching into his pocket,” and the use of force was necessary. These claims would be more believable if it weren’t for the actions of one police officer who decided that it would be in the best interest of the squad to turn the video off. If the officers were truly in the right, then there would be no need to conceal evidence.
The video below is of the entire dash cam footage and is unedited. You can fast forward to the 5:30 mark in the video, just before the young man is pulled from the car and beaten.
H/T: STL Today | Featured Image: video screen capture