Saturday, May 10, 2008

Philadelphia Police Beating - Video - Defense Claims Mistaken Identity

We have the video of the Philadelphia police beating three shooting suspects after an auto chase. At least 15 officers were allegedly involved in the beating, and 13 have been removed from duty pending a police investigation of the incident.

Attorneys representing the three defendants claim that the police officers that were involved in the beating concocted a story that the defendants were shooting suspects so they could cover up a police error that the police mistook one of the defendants for another man sought in a cop killing from the previous weekend.

The first video is strictly a video of the beating with no audio to speak of:

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and Mayor Michael Nutter denied the cover-up allegations and said that officers legitimately pursued the defendants’ car after a triple shooting.

The lawyers claim that their clients, Brian Hall, 23, Dwayne "Lionel" Dyches, 24, and Pete Hopkins, 19, were not involved in any shooting. Instead, they said that police chased their vehicle and beat the trio because they believed that Dyches, who was a passenger in the car, was a man wanted in the fatal shooting of Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski.

Liczbinski was a 12-year member of the force who was shot in the line of duty last week while pursuing three robbery suspects and who was buried today.

If the lawyers’ claim proves to be true, the police officers involved in the beating incident could be facing some very severe charges.

The second video is some of the beating plus a reporter's version of the incident:

Philadelphia Police Beating

The beating, which was filmed by a Fox News TV affiliate helicopter, came after several police cars surrounded and blocked the escape of Hall, Dyches and Hopkins’ vehicle.

Three groups of officers then allegedly dragged the trio from their car and proceeded to punch, kick, and stomp the defendants and also beat one of the defendants with a night stick.

Rev. Al Sharpton suggested the beating was racially motivated and called it "worse than Rodney King," referring to a similar beating of a single black man by Los Angeles police officers in 1991. The acquittal of the police officers involved in that beating motivated rioters in the LA riots of 1992.

See the original Rodney King Beating Video from 1991

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