3 Dover cops on leave after man punched while being held down
DOVER TOWNSHIP — Three police officers are on paid administrative leave after a video showed officers punching a 19-year-old suspect in the face several times while he was pinned to the ground.
Police received a phone call very early Sunday morning, telling them that a fugitive wanted for aggravated assault was within the township, Dover Mayor James Dodd said at a Monday afternoon press conference.
The man was identified as Cyprian Luke of Morristown. Dodd said Luke resisted efforts to take him into custody.
“There is no reason for me to believe at this time that race played any role," Dodd said. He also said he understands "that we live in an age of social media where there is a tendency to rush to judgment."
He asked everyone to show restraint until all the facts "come out."
When asked his reaction to seeing the video, Dodd called it "very disturbing."
He also said he's proud of the police department and will not let "this incident blemish the reputation of the entire force." Dodd added he will not "stand for nor tolerate any abuse" by any officer toward a member of the public.
The full press conference on Monday was posted online by ABC7 NY, as seen below:
The arrest incident now is being investigated, under New Jersey regulations, by the state Attorney General's office, which is working alongside the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. Dodd said the town is cooperating "fully."
An video clip posted online by several news outlets, including Morristown Green and the Morristown Daily Record, showed several officers struggling to arrest Luke. Various versions appear to have been edited for length or to remove profanity.
The video appeared to have been originally been posted to Facebook by user Sav FrmFoe, who has several posts regarding the altercation.
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