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Bodycam Shows What Led Up To Viral Video Of DC Officer Punching Suspect

Washington, DC – DC police released bodycam that showed what led up to a viral cell phone video that showed an officer punching an armed suspect as officers struggled to take him into custody (video below).

The incident occurred just after 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 8 in the 1500-block of U Street, SE, near the Ketcham Recreation Center in Anacostia, WUSA reported.

Police officials said that officers from the 7th District witnessed 23-year-old Kiman Johnson conducting a hand-to-hand drug deal on the corner of U and 16th Streets, SE.

Bodycam video showed the officers stopped their patrol vehicle and got out.

But when they approached the men standing on the sidewalk, both suspects fled, the video showed.

Officers stopped Johnson from fleeing and pushed him up against a chain link fence to search him.

That’s when officers discovered a .45-caliber pistol concealed in Johnson’s pants and the confrontation escalated.

Bodycam video showed Johnson continued to resist arrest as multiple officers tried to handcuff him.

A group of bystanders surrounded the officers and began screaming and yelling as they filmed video of the arrest.

Bodycam video showed Johnson continued resisting as officers warned him “you’re gonna get dropped” and “you’re about to get O.C. sprayed, man. Stop it!”

It was impossible to clearly see what was happening on the bodycam as the scuffle turned into an all-out brawl between Johnson and the officers.

This is where the bystander’s viral cell phone video footage picked up and showed an officer punching Johnson repeatedly in the head.

The officer who punched Johnson has since been identified as DC Metropolitan Police Officer Ryan Sullivan, The Washington Post reported.

Bodycam video showed Officer Sullivan told Johnson repeatedly to “Give up! Give up” in between blows.

Bodycam video showed that just as officers managed to get handcuffs on the struggling suspect, they were attacked by bystanders.

One man overturned a large trash can onto the officers.

Bodycam showed another bystander holding a metal folding chair in the air, waving it at Officer Sullivan.

“You wanna go too?” the officer asked in the video.

Bodycam showed the man was holding a bottle in his hand upside down, as if to strike someone with it.

The men who assaulted the officers from behind fled, and Officer Sullivan and another officer chased after them and caught up with the man who had waved the chair about a block away.

He was arrested at the scene, but prosecutors later refused to pursue criminal charges against him or Johnson, and they were released from custody, The Washington Post reported.

DC Police Chief Robert J. Contee said after he saw the viral video that he was “embarrassed, disturbed, disheartened, and ashamed,” WUSA reported.

Chief Contee placed three 7th District officers on paid administrative leave while the incident was investigated, The Washington Post reported.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has also condemned the incident.

Johnson’s attorneys have claimed he suffered fractured bones during the arrest and may need surgery, WTTG reported.

“That thing could have gotten worse quick, and we have seen incidents like that. My client has a broken face,” attorney Bakari Sellers told The Washington Post. “If you’re going to be patrolling that area, you have to have some level of professionalism.”

Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Action begins at 1:50. WARNING – Graphic Content and Obscene Language:

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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