Akron, OH – The Akron Police Department is fighting back against allegations of excessive force, after officers were seen delivering body strikes to a wanted parolee who was resisting arrest (video below).
The incident occurred on Sunday, after two Akron police officers conducting a drug investigation stopped Patrick King as he was leaving a residence, Akron Police Major Jesse Leeser told the Akron Beacon Journal.
According to Akron Police Captain Dave Laughlin, the home King was seen leaving is a suspected “drug house,” the paper reported.
As the officers were speaking with King, he provided them with false information regarding his identity and age, Maj. Leeser said.
A female officer began placing King in handcuffs, at which point he started resisting arrest.
“He’s now armed with at least one handcuff,” Maj. Leeser explained. “And he could use that pretty much like a knife. The edges can be sharp.”
The officers tackled the combative man to the ground, where the alteration continued.
The sound of a Taser could be heard in the video as the officers wrestled with King, who kicked his legs and tried to roll onto his back.
“Why’s y’all tasing him?” a woman off-camera yelled out.
“He’s resisting!” an officer responded.
“No he’s not!” the woman argued. “Why is you punchin’ him?”
The person recording the altercation then moved closer to the melee, as a male officer climbed on top of King and pinned him to the ground.
King then reached up towards the face and head of the female officer who was trying to restrain him.
“Stop grabbing me!” the female officer commanded.
The male officer tased King again, but the combative man was able to roll onto his back, knocking the male officer off of him.
“Stop resisting!” the male officer ordered.
“I didn’t do nothing,” King wailed.
“Yeah, what is he doin'?” the female bystander chimed in.
The male officer directed King to roll onto his stomach while the female officer retained her hold on the suspect’s upper body.
“I can’t breathe,” King complained, as he attempted to roll onto his back yet again.
“You’re gonna get it again,” the male officer warned him, while he kept the Taser poised against King’s body.
The officers held King down as two more officers arrived on the scene and quickly pinned the suspect’s lower body to the ground.
When King continued to fight and refused to give officers his hands, one of the officers began repeatedly striking his body with both fists.
“Stop beatin’ him like that!” a woman yelled.
“You cannot punch him!” another woman echoed. “You all’s not allowed to do that!”
Additional officers arrived at the scene and joined in the altercation, as a winded female officer rolled out from beneath the tangle of bodies.
“He ain’t done nothing,” a witness told her.
“Are you f--king kidding? Did you see him fighting us?” the female officer asked in disbelief.
One of the officers still tangling with King then told him to stop reaching.
“He’s not reaching – y'all got his d--n hands!” the off-camera woman yelled. “That’s why people don’t like the cops now. Y’all do all of this.”
Another bystander told the officers that King hadn’t been reaching towards his pockets.
“You all jumped out kicking his a--,” the man said. “He a veteran and all types of s--t.”
The crowd continued to heckle the officers and claimed that their actions illustrated why people are afraid of the police.
“They ain’t even had no probable cause to even stop that man,” another armchair attorney off-camera volunteered. “He wasn’t doin’ nothin’ but walkin'.”
The video was posted to social media a short while later, and quickly went viral, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
Maj. Leeser told the paper that the officers’ use of force was justified, and that the body strikes were intended to loosen the grip King had on the officers who were trying to subdue him.
“If the fight goes to the ground, the officers’ weapons are accessible,” the major said, adding that the officers had used tactics as they had been trained.
King was arrested for an outstanding parole violation warrant stemming from a burglary conviction. He is also being held on new charges of resisting arrest, tampering with evidence, misrepresenting an identity, drug abuse related to marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.
According to WEWS, King was also wanted out of Franklin County for an obstruction of justice offense.
The officers were all wearing bodycams, and the altercation is under investigation, as is protocol for any use of force incident, Maj. Leeser told the Akron Beacon Journal.
King was taken to a hospital after the altercation, WKYC reported.
None of the officers involved in the incident have been placed on leave.
You can watch the officers’ encounter with King in the video below: