Police in the nation’s capitol are coming under heavy criticism over two officers’ handling of a handicapped man.
The video, which contains both graphic images and language, was uploaded to YouTube following the incident on last Thursday afternoon, May 19th. Since then the clip has been viewed over 11,000 times.
In the video taken outside the U Street-Cardozo Metro Station, two D.C. Metro Police officers are seen making a forceful arrest on an elderly man in a while chair. After shouting “Get on the ground!” the two able-bodied officers are seen slamming Dwight Harris into the pavement. In the background of the clip, one can hear angry onlookers challenging the police’s treatment of the man.
After being wrestled to the ground, Harris began bleeding. Witnesses told NBC Washington that after the police slammed the man into the concrete sidewalk, blood began to pour out of a gash on his head.
According to D.C. Metro Spokesperson Steven Taubenkibel, the man in the wheelchair was approached by the police officers after being spotted drinking an alcoholic beverage. When the man refused to leave the area, the officers attempted to give him a citation, which he also refused. Speaking specifically on the rough natured arrest, the official D.C. Metro Police statement said:
“the patron resisted arrest which resulted in him falling out of his wheelchair.”
D.C. Metro Police say the man was taken to Howard University Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and then charged with assault on a police officer and drinking in public.
According to the latest reports, Harris’ face remains badly swollen from last week’s incident. He says he is getting a lawyer to challenge his arrest. A vendor for the newspaper “Street Sense,” Harris says he is working to raise awareness of the homeless. Formerly homeless himself, he has since found a place to live.
What are your thoughts on the Dwight Harris’ arrest? Did D.C. police take their authority too far? Tell us what you think Clutchettes- weigh in!