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Monday, June 27, 2011

Cleveland Cops Caught On Tape Brutally Beating Suspect

by Asraa Mustufa

A jail video in Cleveland has surfaced disputing official police statements on a booking incident from last January, where the arrestee claimed police brutality.

Jalil Anderson was arrested on suspicion of driving under suspension. At the station, police say that Anderson violently struck officer Martin Lentz with his belt, hitting Lentz in the face, at which point police forcefully subdued him, and Anderson was charged with assaulting a police officer. During the pretrial, County prosecutors subpoenaed the surveillance tape but were not told that it did not exist. The assault charge was dropped in April, and Anderson pled guilty to resisting arrest. But after an inquiry by the newspaper The Plain Dealer, police released the video last week.

The video shows Anderson removing his jewelry and belt, as is customary during booking, and throwing the belt on the table. It grazes officer Lentz who then cuffs Anderson. Anderson resists and then several officers begin forcefully restraining him - a much different sequence than what Lentz filed in the police report.

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