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Police issue statement after video of violent arrest outside Stella’s

Posted at 11:38 PM, Aug 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-27 23:38:27-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A cell phone video shows what some say are aggressive actions by Grand Rapids Police outside a popular bar this weekend.  Police say the video is only part of a very chaotic scene.

It was a flurry of lights and noise outside Stella's Lounge early Sunday morning as police tried to investigate a stabbing and control the crowd.  GRPD says they responded to the 2 a.m. call to find a crowd of more than 100 people, claiming some attempted to interfere with first responders.

Ten minutes after backup was called, four people had been arrested for allegedly resisting or trying to harm officers.  The arrest of a 24-year-old man was captured on video and posted online.  In the video, several officers are seen restraining the man while one officer can be seen punching him.

Grand Rapids Police say in a lengthy statement posted Monday on its Facebook page that the man in the video was arrested after allegedly charging at police while they were arresting a 21-year-old woman. The woman was accused of attempting to punch an officer, police said.

Police say there were no injuries outside the stabbing victims, who have since been released form the hospital.

Barfly Ventures, the company that owns Stella's and several other area restaurants, says the incident didn't involve their customers and that they're fully cooperating with police.

The statement from Barfly reads:

"Based on what we know, the incident did not begin at or involve guests who were at Stella’s. We will cooperate with the investigation into the incident shown on Facebook as well as the stabbing, which also did not appear to involve people coming from Stella’s."

In their statement, police said all use of force cases are documented and reviewed, and this case will be no different. They also said several officers' body cameras were knocked off during the chaos, and one was stolen.  As for what sparked the fight and stabbing, that remains under investigation and no arrests have been made.