CLEVELAND (AP) — A dashcam video of a traffic stop that led to a white police officer with a history of disciplinary issues repeatedly punching a black man and hitting his head on pavement appears to show a different sequence of events than police had originally described.
The initial statement from police in the Cleveland suburb of Euclid said Richard Hubbard III, who was pulled over on suspicion of having a suspended driver’s license, had refused Officer Michael Amiott’s orders to “face away” after getting out of his car Aug. 12 and then began resisting. But the video obtained this week in a public records request appears to show Amiott not giving Hubbard a chance to comply, Hubbard’s attorney said Friday.
“Your own two eyes and common sense can lead to only one reasonable conclusion as to the propriety of the level of force used for a basic traffic stop and whether or not my client had a chance to comply,” attorney Christopher McNeal said.
The dashcam video shows Amiott opening the car door and Hubbard getting out. Within a second of Amiott ordering him to “face away,” the video shows the officer grabbing Hubbard’s arms and wrestling him to the ground in the middle of a street as Hubbard’s girlfriend jumps out of the car and rushes over.
The video shows Amiott bashing Hubbard’s head against the pavement several times and then punching him in the head more than a dozen times as Hubbard tries to defend himself.
“Babe, stop,” Hubbard’s girlfriend implores, kneeling on the road and screaming as Amiott punches him repeatedly.
Some of the punches were thrown after Hubbard, who’s 25 years old, spread his arms out and appeared not to be resisting. Increasingly frantic, Hubbard’s girlfriend yells at officers that Hubbard is unarmed.
Hubbard is finally handcuffed with the help of another officer and taken to jail, where police say he was examined and then released after being charged with resisting arrest and driving with a suspended license.
Amiott has been placed on administrative leave pending a review, Euclid police spokesman Lt. Mitch Houser said Friday.
The police union that represents Amiott issued a statement to WJW-TV that says: “We stand with Officer Amiott and we hope that people will not rush to judgment, but rather will understand the literally-split-second decision and response required of our police and will let the administrative review process play out.”
Cellphone video that first drew attention to the arrest was taken from a nearby business. It shows Hubbard being struck but doesn’t show the traffic stop or the first part of the arrest when Hubbard is taken to the ground. The video has been viewed more than 7 million times on Facebook.
Amiott was hired by the Euclid Police Department in September 2014. He was reprimanded for hitting a driver with a handgun, mishandling evidence, losing his temper in front of his commanding officer and being involved in two crashes in police vehicles, according to personnel files released Friday.
Before Euclid, Amiott was an officer in Mentor, east of Cleveland. Amiott resigned in April 2014 after an internal investigation concluded he had lied to other officers when explaining why he stopped a man for a suspended driver’s license.
Mentor personnel files show that Amiott was cited for two vehicle accidents, eight speeding violations and one motorcycle violation while he was on a learner’s permit before he was hired as an officer. In his application, Amiott indicated that the “danger” aspect of being an officer was one reason he was drawn to the job.
Police Chief Scott Meyer apologized Wednesday for not having responded publicly in “a more timely fashion.” Mayor Kirsten Gail said the videos “raise some very serious concerns.”
Both said the traffic stop would be “thoroughly” investigated to determine whether the officer followed departmental rules and procedures.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Cleveland branch of the NAACP issued a statement saying they are “profoundly concerned.”
“We are appalled by the brutality seen in these videos,” ACLU Executive Director J. Bennett Guess said. “This behavior underscores a disturbing pattern of extreme use of force by police in our state and across our nation.”
This story has been corrected to show the Euclid police spokesman’s first name is Mitch, not Michael.
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Police are investigating after a Snapchat video titled “nap time struggle” appears to show a worker at a church day care center in South Carolina sitting on and hitting children.
The 10-second video titled shows a woman hitting a blanket-covered figure and using her hand to slap the uncovered leg of a child on a different cot. The woman’s left leg is outstretched and rests on a blanket-covered figure on a third cot.
News outlets reported Wednesday the video was taken at the North Charleston United Methodist Church Learning Center. Church pastor Richard Reams says he reported the video to the North Charleston Police Department and to the state Department of Social Services.
Reams says the people associated with the video weren’t at work Wednesday.
BEIJING (AP) — China’s main state news agency, Xinhua, has released a video online criticizing India in a border dispute that prompted an Indian newspaper to complain of “racist overtones.”
The English-language video, titled “7 Sins of India,” accuses the New Delhi government of illegally entering Chinese territory. It includes a man portraying an Indian dressed in a turban and false beard.
Soldiers from the two sides are in a standoff in Doklam, an area between China and Indian ally Bhutan. New Delhi sent soldiers in June to stop China from constructing a road there.
The Hindustan Times said the three-minute video has “racist overtones” and “mocked and parodied Indians.”
The video appears to be an attempt to use humor to win over foreign audiences. It is posted on Twitter and YouTube, both of which the ruling Communist Party tries to block Chinese web surfers from seeing.
It accuses Indian forces of trespassing and breaking international law.
“Didn’t your mama tell you, never break the law?” says the host, identified as Dier Wang.
The video includes appearances by a man in a turban, sunglasses and false beard who speaks in an exaggerated Indian accent over canned laughter.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida sheriff’s deputy has been charged with copying a videotape of a mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale’s airport and leaking it to the website TMZ.
The Broward County sheriff’s office says Deputy Michael Dingman was arrested Wednesday after being accused of leaking to TMZ surveillance video of Esteban Santiago fatally shooting five people and wounding six others last Jan. 6 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
TMZ posted the video two days after the shooting. Investigators say Dingman used his cellphone to record the video from a sergeant’s computer and then sent it to TMZ. They say he later destroyed the phone.
Deputy Jeff Bell, president of the Broward deputies union, said Dingman will have a strong defense. TMZ did not immediately return a call and email seeking comment.
NEW YORK (AP) — Prominent astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has a suggestion for anyone with a view of next week’s solar eclipse: Put down your smartphone and take in the phenomenon yourself.
Tyson told an audience at the American Museum of Natural History on Monday: “Experience this one emotionally, psychologically, physically.”
The Aug. 21 event will be the first total solar eclipse in 99 years to cross a coast-to-coast swath of the United States. A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, completely blotting out the sunlight.
Tyson, the director of the museum’s Hayden Planetarium and host of the podcast “StarTalk,” said missing the eclipse “would be to not live as full a life as you could have” — and having a video of it doesn’t match watching it happen.
“I get it — you want to look at it later. But then you would not have experienced it in the moment,” said Tyson, who also has appeared on the CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.”
His remarks resonated with Hanneke Weitering, who’s traveling from Brooklyn to Nashville, Tennessee, to watch the eclipse. The 24-year-old marked the date in her calendar as a college undergraduate.
“I’ve been looking forward to it ever since,” she said.
For those unable to buy special glasses to view the sun safely, Tyson, recommends holding a spaghetti strainer to the ground and looking at the images it creates below, like a pinhole camera.
And however one views it, “recognize that, occasionally, things line up in ways that are uncommon or unusual, either in your life experience or for the earth itself,” he said.
NEW YORK (AP) — A video taken on the set of “Mission: Impossible 6” shows Tom Cruise limping after performing a stunt where he jumps between buildings.
The video was published Sunday by TMZ. It captures a tethered Cruise leaping to a building, hitting its side and then crawling over the top and running away. After he finished the take, Cruise is seen limping, though he was able to rappel back to the building he jumped from.
The extent of Cruise’s injuries wasn’t known. Neither Cruise’s representatives nor Paramount Pictures returns messages Sunday.
The 55-year-old actor is well known for performing many of his own stunts.
The sixth installment in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise is currently shooting in London. It’s scheduled for release in July next year.