2 police officers under investigation after being recorded hitting man with batons at bus stop

Two Seattle police officers are under investigation after a passerby filmed them beating a man with their batons at a bus stop last week.

In the video, which was posted online and first reported by NBC affiliate KING 5-TV, two police officers could be seen hitting a man with their batons last Friday afternoon. In the 40-second clip, one of the officers appears to grab the man’s hair before using his knee to pin him down.

The video does not show what happened before the officers began beating the man.

Seattle’s Office of Police Accountability, a city watchdog agency, said it was investigating the encounter. Jessica Schreindl, a spokeswoman for the agency, said it had received several complaints, some of which came from police.

The city’s interim police chief, Sue Rahr, who took over last week from embattled former chief Adrian Diaz, said she watched the video and understood the concern it caused .

A Seattle police officer was recorded beating a man with a baton at a bus stop on May 31.Deanthony Marcell

“While OPA conducts a thorough investigation as required by our accountability process, my staff is gathering information, including all available video, for me to review so I have a more complete picture of the whole of the incident,” she said in a statement.

Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the officers had been placed on administrative leave during the investigation. The department also did not respond to a request for comment on the identity and condition of the man and whether he was arrested or charged with a crime. The Seattle Police Officers Guild, the police union, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The investigation comes at a turbulent time for police. Last week, Mayor Bruce Harrell announced Rahr would replace Diaz. At least six police officers have sued Diaz, accusing him of discrimination against women and people of color.

Deeanthony Marcell, who recorded the video, also uploaded it to his Instagram, where it had been viewed nearly 15,000 times as of Thursday afternoon. Marcell, a musician, said he was on a bus on his way to a rehearsal when he witnessed the incident in South Seattle.

“I get a lot of pressure on social media,” Marcell said in an interview Thursday evening. “And I know I have a lot of commitment.”

His video appears to have been the source of some of the complaints filed with the Office of Police Accountability. He said several people told him it spurred them to take action.

“They told me in the comments that they filed a complaint,” he said. “They said, ‘I filed a complaint, you should too.’ Several people have told me they have done this.

He said he did not know what preceded the beating but believed he witnessed injustice. The officers probably didn’t know they were being recorded, he said, because the area was inaccessible on foot. Marcell said the man was screaming for help as he was beaten.

“If he did something wrong, I’m not saying he shouldn’t go to jail or be arrested,” Marcell said. “He should.”

He questioned whether the officers could have used other tactics to restrain the man, such as a mace or a Taser, because he thought their response seemed excessive.

“No matter what he did, it doesn’t justify their response,” he said.

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