A Buffalo police officer could face federal scrutiny after the release of footage showing him attacking a man while allegedly trying to break up a fight, WKBW-TV reported.
The video, shot by a WKBW photographer early Thanksgiving morning, shows 39-year-old Officer Corey Krug using the nightstick to push an unidentified man onto a vehicle, then push him to the ground. Krug can also be seen hitting the man with the nightstick while telling him to get up.
The attack stops after Krug is told by two colleagues that he was being recorded. The photographer was working on another story when he saw Krug approach the man, who was allegedly about to get into a fight. The man was not arrested and told to leave the scene.
“They’re telling this guy to walk away so apparently he did nothing,” American Civil Liberties Union attorney Daire Irwin told WKBW, adding, “I absolutely categorically believe his civil rights were violated.”
Police Commissioner Dan Derenda did not comment on the video, but did suspend Krug indefinitely without pay after the station showed him the footage of the attack. The department is investigating the incident.
The Buffalo News reported that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has also received a copy of the video, while Derenda also contacted the FBI regarding a possible probe into Krug’s actions.
“What I will say is as it has shown, this administration takes inappropriate behavior very seriously and appropriate action was taken in each and every case,” he said.
Krug was reportedly working overtime on the night of the incident. An officer by the same name was identified in a 2010 federal civil rights lawsuit, and he is reportedly related to another officer, Raymond Krug, who faced similar civil rights violation charges in a 2009 suit.
The News reported, citing anonymous sources within the department, that officers have been reminded in recent training sessions that citizens have the right to videotape and photograph them.
“How can you train for something as blatant as this?” the source said about the incident involving Krug. “There was a camera right there.”
Watch WKBW’s report, as posted online on Thursday, below.