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Video: Pa. police investigate use of force during arrest

Philly department was made aware of the video shortly after it was posted by an LA-based blogger on YouTube

By Vinny Vella
Philadelphia Daily News

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Police have opened an Internal Affairs investigation into the violent beating of a man during a drug arrest in April, officials said Wednesday.

A video posted to YouTube on Wednesday by Los Angeles-based blogger Jasmyne Cannick shows at least a dozen officers, some of whom repeatedly punch, kick and apparently tase a man lying facedown on Locust Avenue in East Germantown.

Cannick told the Daily News that the man in the video is Tyree Carroll, 22, whose family reached out to her in an attempt to bring exposure to his case. The family received the video only recently, Cannick said.

Court records show that Carroll was arrested April 4 and charged with drug offenses, aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment.

At the time of his arrest, Carroll was on probation from a 2014 guilty plea for drug possession.

The April case is active, and Carroll — who remains in custody — will be formally arraigned July 21, court records show.

Lt. John Stanford, a police spokesman, told the Daily News late Wednesday that the department was made aware of the video shortly after it was posted and that “an investigation into the matter is underway.”

Stanford said that Internal Affairs investigators were in the process Wednesday of identifying all of the officers depicted in the video, filmed with a smartphone by a bystander.

A woman who answered the door at Carroll’s home, on Locust Avenue near Crowson Street, declined to comment late Wednesday.

She said that his grandmother — Nancy Carroll, for whom Carroll cried out during the arrest — was unavailable to speak with a reporter.

The five-minute clip begins with three officers struggling with Carroll.

Those officers attempt to hold Carroll on the ground, hitting him several times. Seconds later, two more officers arrive, one of whom screams, “You’re getting the f — -ing Taser. Here I come.”

More officers follow, some of whom can be seen kicking and punching Carroll.

At least one officer apparently points a Taser at Carroll, but it’s unclear from the grainy footage if he shocks him with it.

As the officers stand over the prone man, one yells, “He f — -ing bit me,” as others demand that he put his hands behind his back.

Cannick told the People Paper on Wednesday night that Carroll’s family said he admits to biting the officer, but says he did so because he has asthma and claims that one of the officers was restricting his breathing in the attempt to subdue him.

About two minutes into the video, one of the officers yells, “Stop!” and the group backs off. Carroll is then walked into a nearby patrol vehicle.

Carroll’s relatives told Cannick that he was stopped by a police officer for riding his bike the wrong way down a one-way street, she said.

The video picks up shortly after Carroll allegedly stepped off his bike to speak with the officer who stopped him, she added.

Carroll’s family, present for his preliminary hearing last month, told Cannick that one officer allegedly testified that he stopped Carroll after seeing him speak with two men during a suspected drug deal. Police couldn’t confirm that detail Wednesday.

Nancy Carroll, accompanied by other relatives, is expected to visit her grandson tomorrow in prison, Cannick said.

Copyright 2015 the Philadelphia Daily News