Dover cop seen repeatedly punching pinned man, prompting protests
DOVER TOWNSHIP — A video has surfaced appearing to show officers punching a 19-year-old male in the face during his arrest, while he's pinned to the ground.
An edited video clip posted by the Daily Record showed several officers struggling to cuff a man the newspaper identified as Cyprian Luke, 19, of Morristown. The video appears to have been originally been posted to Facebook by user Sav FrmFoe, who has several posts regarding the altercation.
The officers yelled at Luke to stop resisting and to roll over on his stomach. The video appears to show an officer punch Luke three times in the face — holding him at times by the neck — during the two-minute clip, the last time drawing blood.
Officers are then seen dragging Luke on his knees toward a police vehicle after he is cuffed.
Friend Marcus Robinson told the newspaper said he and another friend were with Luke when he was confronted by police outside the the Mill Pond Towers apartments around 2:15 a.m. He said police also used a chemical spray to subdue Luke. The incident prompted a protest in front of the Dover police station Sunday night.
Cyprian Luke told ABC 7 Eyewitness News he was dragged after being punched multiple ties and maced. He was still in pain on Sunday, he told the news outlet.
Dover Police told the news outlet they had a warrant for his arrest on a domestic case. An email from New Jersey 101.5 to Dover police seeking more information has not yet been returned.
Dover Alderwoman Carolyn Blackman in a statement praised the "professionalism" of police as they deal with "challenging situations" on a daily basis but said the township is not immune to "the potential for the use of excessive force."
"Brutality by law enforcement against the very people they are duty-bound to protect and serve is unacceptable and must be eradicated wherever and whenever it occurs in our great nation," Blackman said.
"When videos such as these surface, emotions can run high, especially in the African-American and Latino communities, as we have had to endure more than our fair share of mistreatment on every level. However, at this time, I ask for restraint and look forward to an appropriate independent authority to conduct a swift, full, and fair investigation into this tragic incident," Blackman said.
Morris County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Peter DiGennaro said his office is investigating the incident as required by the state attorney general's office.
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