For the second time in just three months, Baltimore Police Department officer Arthur Williams violently assaulted the same man.
A video Intercept columnist Shaun King posted to Twitter on Saturday shows Williams talking to 26-year-old Dashawn McGrier outside of a storefront on East Monument and North Rose Streets in Baltimore. Suddenly, Williams shoves McGrier in the chest, and McGrier slaps his hand away. Williams then repeatedly punches McGrier in the face.
Even though McGrier is not fighting back, Williams continues to pummel him and eventually slams him against three concrete step and tackles him to the sidewalk. Despite the show of excessive force, Williams’ partner does nothing to stop the continued assault. Near the end of the video, a pool of blood is seen next to McGrier’s face.
(WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS STRONG VIOLENCE)
This Baltimore Police Officer needs to be fired immediately & charged w/ assault. Laws regarding assault still apply to police. This isn’t MMA. Completely shameful. None of that was necessary.
We aren’t asking the city to suspend this man. He needs to be terminated and charged. pic.twitter.com/fCNdEcU2JO
— Shaun King (@shaunking) August 11, 2018
According to Attorney Warren Brown, who is representing McGrier, Arthur Williams has had a pattern of repeatedly targeting his client. The Baltimore Sun reported that in June, an altercation between Williams and McGrier led to McGrier being charged with assaulting an officer, disorderly conduct, obstructing and hindering, and resisting arrest. While McGrier was not charged with a crime from his most recent encounter with Officer Williams, Brown said that in each instance, Williams assaulted his client without provocation.
“It seems like this officer had just decided that Dashawn was going to be his punching bag,” Brown told the Sun. “And this was a brutal attack that was degrading and demeaning to my client, to that community, and to the police department.”
In a statement issued after the video emerged, Baltimore Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said he was “deeply disturbed” by the beating of McGrier, and that Officer Williams has been placed on paid leave pending an internal investigation. WBAL reporter Vanessa Herring tweeted an updated statement saying that prior to the beating, McGrier refused to show his ID to Williams.
Updated statement from @BaltimorePolice on the video showing an officer repeatedly punching a man.
They say the situation escalated when the man refused to provide his identification #WBAL pic.twitter.com/sg3Rj3X4RN
— Vanessa Herring (@VanessaWBAL) August 12, 2018
“Part of our investigation will be reviewing body worn camera footage. If anyone witnessed this incident we are asking you to contact the Office of Professional Responsibility at 410-396-2300,” Tuggle stated.
Logan Espinoza is a freelance contributor specializing in economic issues. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and daughter. Contact him at logan DOT espinoza AT yahoo DOT com.