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Michigan Officer On Leave After Rough Arrest Of Suspect

Lansing police patrol unit
Reginald Hardwick

A police officer in Michigan’s capital has been placed on leave after video revealed an aggressive arrest of an assault suspect who pleaded “I can’t breathe.”

The incident involved at least five Lansing officers who pinned the 25-year-old man to the ground Tuesday night and ordered him to stop resisting, the Lansing State Journal reported.

Police were responding to a report of a street fight involving five or six people, police spokesman Robert Merritt said.

“During the lengthy struggle to secure the suspect, officers deployed a Taser and delivered strikes,” Merritt said.

Video by a witness in a car shows the man asking, “Why are you hitting me?” At other points, he professed his innocence and said, “I can’t breathe.” The officers got off him and were told to roll him over so he could breathe.

The arrest took place amid a steady rain. The man was taken to a hospital for an evaluation and then transported to a police lockup, Merritt said.

Police Chief Daryl Green placed one officer on leave with pay while the actions of all officers at the scene are investigated, Merritt said.

“I support police Chief Green’s decision to send all the information related to this incident to the Michigan State Police for an independent external review of the incident and then to the Ingham County prosecutor for review of any criminality,” Mayor Andy Schor said.

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