Police Investigate Violent Philadelphia Arrest Caught on Video

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The Philadelphia Police Department’s Internal Affairs Unit is investigating an arrest early Monday in which officers apparently struck a handcuffed man’s head against a Kensington street and the side of an above ground pool while a chaotic crowd yelled for them to stop.

A video of the incident, posted to Facebook by neighborhood resident Ariel Rivera, had more than 223,000 views by Tuesday afternoon. On her post, Rivera wrote: “3 Philadelphia police officers beat the bs out of this guy over one bag of dope smh share to stop this police brutality.” Rivera’s post had been shared more than 4,000 times.

“The reason I recorded it and posted it and pushed for people to share it is because this isn’t something that happens once in a blue moon in our neighborhood, this is very common. A lot of people go through stuff like this,” Rivera, 24, said in an interview Tuesday. “Our community is bad enough already, to be honest, we should not have to fear calling the police.”

A police spokesman said that Internal Affairs was aware of the video and was investigating the incident, which took place at Elkhart and Ella Streets shortly after midnight.

Police said the unidentified man was arrested for a narcotics violation, but they declined to provide details, citing the ongoing investigation. The 21-year-old man remains hospitalized, according to police, but his condition was not available.

Rivera said she was at home, a half a block from the scene, when she heard the commotion and went outside. She said the suspect is a homeless man who sleeps on a mattress in nearby Hope Park.

“They must have raided and arrested people in the park…and he began to run from them,” she said. “I saw police were kicking this guy in his head and hitting him with their batons before I started recording.”

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