A newly uncovered video showing a Police Chief in Louisiana punching a handcuffed black man numerous times has sparked outrage among community activists.
The incident, which was recorded in a Hammond Police Department booking room, occurred two years before the cop was promoted to Police Chief.
Kentdrick Ratliff got arrested by cops for drug possession in December 2017.
Officer Edwin Bergeron can be seen punching Rafliff numerous times but he was not disciplined for his action even though his conduct was described by an independent Texas consultancy as ‘excessive and borderline criminal.’
More than a year after the incident, Bergeron was promoted to Police Chief.
The video was first shared by WBRZ who interviewed Ratliff. He said that it was a ‘bad decision’ to reach for the confiscated bottle, which contained Xanax, marijuana, and other drugs. But he says the officer’s reaction was not appropriate.
The full video shows Bergeron and other officers trying to subdue him after he was handcuffed and tasered.
“I got beat, stomped, kicked in my groin,” he expressed.
Then-Hammond Police Chief James Stewart ordered an internal investigation at that time.
One of the cops involved, Sgt. Thomas Mushinsky, was reprimanded after he was seen kicking the handcuffed man.
The footage was also taken to the FBI for review but it was decided not to take action against the cops.
Despite the viral footage, local officials are now standing by Police Chief Bergeron.
“With all of this going right, why is the video coming up again?” Hammond City government said in a statement. “It seems more motivated by a personal vendetta instead of a real interest in the public safety of Hammond.”
However, community activists say the incident should be investigated again.
Activist Jermaine Luckett said: “First note that there are people that are on the force that are great. This is not an attack on police. This is saying that if something is wrong in the department, the citizens have the power to stand up do it the right way and get them out of office.
“An effective solution in my mind is to restart the investigation completely.”
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