Quentin Suttles, a 30-year-old Black man, is suing the city of Buffalo, New York, after a video surfaced showing police punching him in the head several times during a May arrest.
The five minute video starts off peacefully, and end with Suttles on the pavement whimpering with an officer striking blows to his head.
A lawyer for Suttles filed a claim that accuses the city, police department and Buffalo Police Commissioner of not properly training officers in use of force.
Erie County District Attorney is also investigating the incident.
When Quentin Suttles, a 30-year-old Black man, was arrested on May 10, a bystander filmed an officer punching him in the head several times.
This week, an officer’s body camera video, which shows the police interaction with him in full, was released.
WKBW reporter Madison Carter shared the video on Twitter.
The five-minute video shows an officer searching Suttles’ body, as he speaks to him in a firm, but conversational voice.
As it goes on, though, Suttle can be seen being thrown to the ground. An officer punches him in the head repeatedly, and Suttles is heard whimpering, pleading for his partner to record what was happening.
“You can’t hit him like that,” a woman yells as two Buffalo, New York, police officers are leaned on top of him, one of them striking him in the head.
“He’s trying to eat the drugs,” one of the officers yells back toward the woman.
Suttles then tells the officers, “I’m dying,” and blood can be seen on the ground under his head.
Now the Erie County District Attorney District Attorney’s office has launched an investigation into the incident and Suttles plans on suing the department and the city, local media — including WKBW and Buffalo News — have reported.
The police department has also opened an internal affairs investigation, according to Buffalo News.
An attorney for Suttles filed notice of the claim in the state’s Supreme Court. It says that Buffalo Police Officers Ronald Ammerman and Michael Scheu used excessive force when they pulled him over and arrested him.
The claim also accuses the city, the police department, and Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood of not properly training officers in use of force and not providing adequate supervision of their actions, according to WKBW.
Police said in their report, which was obtained by WKBW, that they pulled Suttles over after smelling a strong odor of marijuana and observing him driving “the wrong way.”
“While conducting pat down, searched defendant did push off vehicle and fight with officers,” the police report states, according to the station. “Defendant continued to fight and reach in his pants, ignoring officers command to stop resisting.”
WKBW reported that the officers also said they recovered a white powder substance from Suttles’ left pocket, and that he had tried to destroy drugs during the arrest.
The claim by Suttles’ attorney Joshua Ramos, though, accuses the officers of “prolonged grabbing of his genitals while finding no contraband.”
Suttles suffered a fractured shoulder blade and orbital bone as a result of the incident, according to legal papers viewed by Buffalo News.
Despite the injuries, police didn’t seek medical treatment for Suttles the next day, Ramos said in the claim viewed by Buffalo News.
Ramos gave a copy of the suit to local media outlets on Thursday, according to the News. The claim could not be found on the state’s Supreme Court online database Friday.
In May, when Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown first saw the cellphone video taken at the scene, he said he was concerned with police actions.
“As Mayor of the City of Buffalo, a very diverse city, I am sensitive to any instances of conflict between members of our community and our police department,” Brown said in a statement released at the time. “Like others, I am concerned by what I saw on that video, however, I do not have all of the facts regarding this situation.”
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