Michigan police officer on leave, probe launched after violent arrest

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A Lansing, Michigan, police officer is on paid administrative leave and police have launched a review of a violent arrest captured on video in which officers appear to strike a man during an arrest Tuesday night.

Officers used a Taser stun gun and “delivered strikes” during a lengthy struggle with a “combative” 25-year-old, police said in a statement Wednesday.

Police Chief Daryl Green ordered one officer, who has not been identified, to be placed on leave and said that an internal affairs investigation will review the conduct of all officers involved.

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The incident, which unfolded around 11:20 p.m. on a sidewalk, was captured by a bystander who described the force used as excessive.

The video appears to show five officers pinning the man to the ground, with some striking him, and giving commands that included for the man to get on his stomach. The man appears to say at one point, “why are you hitting me?”

At another point an officer yells “give me your hand,” and the man says “I didn’t do it.”

Police said in a statement that officers were responding to a report of a fight involving five to six people and had determined that the 25-year-old man “was the primary suspect in the assault incident.”

Police said he resisted arrest. “During the lengthy struggle to secure the suspect, Officers deployed a Taser and delivered strikes,” police said.

A still from a video shows a violent arrest in Lansing, Mich., on Nov. 10, 2020. (Brandon Hayduk via Facebook)A still from a video shows a violent arrest in Lansing, Mich., on Nov. 10, 2020. (Brandon Hayduk via Facebook)
A still from a video shows a violent arrest in Lansing, Mich., on Nov. 10, 2020. (Brandon Hayduk via Facebook)

When the video begins, at least one officer appears to be grappling with the man, who has his arms around the officer’s waist, before more officers arrive and the group goes to the ground.

The man who said he shot the video, Brandon Hayduk, 37, said he was going to a store when he saw a male officer confronting the man. The officer told the man to go to a police vehicle and mentioned a wiffle bat being thrown in the street, Hayduk said.

He said when he came out of the store, the male officer and a female officer were “engaging physically with the gentleman” before more officers arrived and that he then began recording from his car.

“I understand if someone’s resisting arrest you have to subdue them,” Hayduk said. “… It doesn’t take much to see the excessive force in that video.”

The 25-year-old was not identified in the police statement, but police said he was evaluated at a hospital — something the department says is standard when a Taser is used — cleared and taken to a detention center. Formal charges will be sought by the Ingham County prosecutor, police said.

A police spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment seeking more details Wednesday night.

Police said two officers sustained minor injuries.

Green, the police chief, “completed a preliminary inquiry” and placed one officer on paid administrative leave, but the statement does not say whether Green made any conclusions about the conduct.

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor said Wednesday afternoon that the chief “immediately” began a review, that the department released details and that an investigation has been launched, the Lansing State Journal newspaper reported.

In the video, at one point the man being arrested says “I can’t breathe” and officers appear to immediately get off him, with one saying to roll him over so he can breathe.

The words echoed the deadly arrest of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck, and the death of Eric Garner in the New York City borough of Staten Island in 2014.