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Video Shows Group of Cops Beating Unarmed Black Man in Philadelphia

The footage shows cops screaming obscenities as they hit 22-year-old Tyree Carroll repeatedly while he is on the ground after they stopped him on suspicion of drug possession.

by VICE News
Jul 9 2015, 10:26pm

Photo via Flickr

VICE News is closely watching policing in America. Check out the Officer Involved blog here.

Authorities are investigating a video showing Philadelphia Police Department officers kicking, beating, and screaming obscenities at an unarmed black man during an arrest over a suspected drug deal.

The footage was first posted on Wednesday by Los Angeles blogger Jasmyne Cannick, who named the man as Tyree Carroll, 22. Family members told Cannick that police stopped Carroll at about 7:30 PM on April 3 while he was riding his bike the wrong way down a street in Philadelphia's East Germantown neighborhood. Police records reportedly show he was arrested the following day, according to the Philadelphia Daily News, and note that he was stopped on suspicion of a narcotics violation. 

Carroll was found to be in possession of 5.3 grams of crack cocaine.

In the beginning of the five-minute-long video, three officers can be seen wrestling and punching Carroll while he is on the ground. Two more officers arrive at the scene, and one yells, "You're getting the fucking Taser! Here I come!"

An officer can be heard saying, "Tase that motherfucker!"

The person recording the video indicates that the Taser was used on Carroll. Though it is not immediately apparent from the footage whether the weapon was employed, the video captures other officers saying, "Tase him!"

More officers arrive and begin punching and kicking Carroll. One of the cops yells, "He fucking bit me!" Another says, "He bit me too!"

Carroll has admitted to that he did bite one of the officers because he was being held in a chokehold and feared for his life. He said he thought of Eric Garner, the Staten Island man who died after an NYPD officer held him in a chokehold, and reflexively bit the officer to relieve his air passages. Carroll is asthmatic.

Police records indicate that Carroll bit the officer three times — on his thigh, hand, and arm — as well as another officer on the forearm. 

Carroll, who was on probation on a 2014 drugs charge at the time of the arrest, was charged with drugs possession, assault, reckless endangerment, and resisting arrest. He is ineligible for bail because of his probation, and is scheduled to be arraigned on July 21.

The Internal Affairs Bureau was informed of the video on Wednesday. A police spokesman told the Daily News Wednesday that the department was aware of the footage and that "an investigation into the matter is underway."