Posted May 9, 2008 – A police sergeant and five underlings have been snatched off Philly’s streets following their role in the videotaped brutal beating of three Black suspects.
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Both Mayor Michael A. Nutter and Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey have said they were troubled at what they watched on video – at least a dozen officers punching, stomping and otherwise pummeling the suspects during a traffic stop.
"We certainly are concerned about what we saw on the tape," Ramsey said at a news conference Wednesday. "The behavior that at least was exhibited on the tape is unacceptable."
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that a copy of the video has been turned over to the District Attorney's Office for possible criminal prosecution.
The Sunday beat-down OF Brian Hall, Pete Hopkins and Dwayne Dyches, pictured above, came in the wake of the death of Philadelphia Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski, who was shot earlier in the day. Also on Sunday, a 20-year-old man was shot to death in North Philadelphia.
Ramsey says there were rumors of "payback" action planned for Monday, and by nightfall, a drive-by shooting wounded three people. Officers who witnessed the shooting chased the suspects. Other units joined them. But Nutter said that the tension around the street violence does not justify the police actions.
"There are certain standards of professionalism in the way you conduct a proper arrest," he said. "The behavior, at least the behavior exhibited on the tape, is unacceptable."