Charlotte-Mecklenburg police on Tuesday defended their use of force against a hit-and-run suspect, demonstrating to the media how officers are trained to subdue and handcuff people who are resisting arrest.
The press conference and demonstration at the police training academy occurred a week after a 10-second cellphone video surfaced showing an officer repeatedly punching a suspect in the back as other officers held the man down.
CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said the excessive force investigation is ongoing, but that he’s reviewed that video and footage from the involved officers’ body cameras.
“We’ve reviewed everything and no laws were violated,” Putney said. “The use of force was not unreasonable.”
Putney said the body camera footage was what convinced him that the officers’ behavior was appropriate.
“We have a few other angles in that case that really shed some light that I did not expect to see when the video went viral,” Putney said. “When I first saw that video, I knew I was going to lose sleep for a while.”
CMPD has declined to release the body camera footage to the public, saying that police body camera videos are part of an officer’s personnel file, which is not a public record under North Carolina law.
The department has not released the name of any of the officers in the case. The suspect was identified as Malcolm Glenn Elliott II, 26, who is charged with hit and run, resisting arrest and driving with a revoked license. His family has publicly questioned whether police used too much force and has hired an attorney
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