The Baton Rouge Police Department is investigating a claim by a Virginia man who reported he was choked and slammed to the ground by an officer while filming an arrest, after surveillance video showed officers lied in their incident report, according to WAFB.
Daniel Clement, 22, said he was using his cell phone to film the arrest outside of a club when an officer ripped his phone from his hand, and another officer grabbed him around the throat and then tossed him on the ground where he was mobbed by officers.
“I saw a police officer push somebody and I’ve always been told if something like that is going on, it’s important to have an objective source of data for what happened,” Clement said. “So, I pulled my phone out and I started filming.”
According to Clement, that is when the officer snatched the phone from his hand and the other officer assaulted him.
“It got ripped from my hands and as I turned to see who ripped it, another officer slammed me into the railing outside,” Clement added.
In the surveillance video, Clement — wearing a bright red shirt — can be seen arguing with the first officer as another large officer steps in and grabs him by the throat before body-slamming him.
“They threw me on the ground and started throwing their knees into me,” he explained.
A friend of Clements then grabs a policeman’s arm, attempting to pull him off, only to be tackled by police and also arrested. According to that man, police also sprayed him with pepper spray.
In his official report, the officer wrote Clement “jumped on that officer [attempting to make an arrest] and began pushing that officer off of his friend.”
The surveillance video does not support the officer’s claims, leading the Baton Rouge police department to launch an investigation.
Clement was booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on charges of public intoxication, battery on police, resisting arrest, and failure to disperse.
Saying there is little he can add, pending an investigation, police spokesman Cpl. L’Jean Mckneely said, “We’re doing a thorough investigation. The chief is trying to get down to the bottom of it to find out exactly what happened. After the investigation is completely over, he’s going to make a decision and whatever his decision is it will be done swiftly and effectively.”
Watch the video below from WAFB: