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Viral Video: Baltimore Officer, Seen Pummeling Man, Resigns


The Baltimore Police Department has accepted the resignation of a police officer after a video went viral. The clip shows the officer repeatedly punching a man in the face. NPR's Merrit Kennedy has the story.

MERRIT KENNEDY, BYLINE: The short video posted on social media shows a man with his back against a wall, having an argument with a police officer.


DASHAWN MCGRIER: (Yelling) For what?

KENNEDY: Suddenly, the officer starts punching him in the face. He strikes him over and over again - more than a dozen times. And the man does not appear to fight back. Another officer looks on as the police officer pins the man to the ground with his arm across his throat. The man's face appears to be bleeding. He looks shocked and asks the officer why he did that.

WARREN BROWN: I mean, the guy was just totally out of control.

KENNEDY: Warren Brown is the attorney for the 26-year-old man named Dashawn McGrier. He says the police were parked next to McGrier. And he was moving to leave just before the incident because he had a history with that officer and didn't want any trouble. Brown added that McGrier was charged in June for allegedly assaulting this officer. He says he's still finding out the specifics of what happened in June. His client sustained multiple injuries during Saturday's confrontation.

BROWN: Fractured jaw, two fractured ribs. He had lost feeling in his left leg.

KENNEDY: McGrier was taken into custody, where he received medical treatment. He was released without any charges, according to Baltimore Police. Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said in a statement that he has, quote, "zero tolerance for behavior like I witnessed on the video," end quote. This highly public beating happened at a time when relations between Baltimore police and the community are tense, Brown says.

BROWN: And this stands to be a significant setback in trying to mend the fences between the community and law enforcement.

KENNEDY: After Freddie Gray died in 2015 following injuries he sustained in police custody, a Department of Justice report detailed years of abuses by the department. Last year, a consent decree was approved to overhaul the force. Brown says his client plans to take legal action against the officer and the Baltimore Police Department. Merrit Kennedy, NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF STAN FOREBEE'S "INTROSPECTION") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Merrit Kennedy is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers a broad range of issues, from the latest developments out of the Middle East to science research news.
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