Two North Carolina police officers are on leave after video showed at least one of them punching a black suspect while he was on the ground, department officials said.
An 18-second clip on Facebook shows one of the Kinston officers standing over David Lee Bruton Jr. and striking him several times as the pair took him into custody Monday.
“I guess beating someone is the new way of detaining a person,” a caption on the clip reads.
Kinston Police Chief Tim Dilday identified the officers Tuesday as McKinley Jones and Kevin Page, the Kinston Free Press reported.
The officers responded to the scene after getting a call of a disturbance at a Little Caesars Pizza, where an alarm was set off, according to a police report obtained by the newspaper.
The caller told cops that Bruton, 39, threatened her.
Bruton then tripped as officers tried to take him into custody, and allegedly kicked one of the cops in the stomach, the report states.
Kinston Mayor Dontario Hardy said the cops used “closed fist strikes” during the arrest, while Dilday acknowledged Tuesday that “punches were thrown” by at least one officer. No injuries were reported, but Bruton’s mother said she’s thankful her son wasn’t killed.
“We are really grateful to God that he is alive,” Cynthia Bruton told the Free Press. “Because he could’ve been one of those taken out by police but he was not. Just looking at the video last night, one would have thought he was beaten to a pulp, but as far as we know, he’s OK. We still have not seen him.”
The mother said she’s still awaiting clarification on how the incident escalated.
Bruton was charged with intimidation, simple assault and disorderly conduct in the incident.
He’s back home and is recovering from scrapes and scratches, Kinston Mayor Dontario Hardy said, according to the Free Press.
“It shouldn’t have happened, and I feel like there should be some consequences,” Cynthia Bruton told the newspaper. “It doesn’t matter what the crime is. No one should be beaten.”