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Detroit police suspend officer seen on video punching man in Greektown

Posted at 7:23 AM, Aug 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-06 07:23:55-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A Detroit Police officer who was seen on video punching a man in Greektown is now on paid suspension.

RELATED: Several Detroit police officers under investigation after Greektown punch as new video emerges

Several officers are under investigation after cell phone videos recorded in Greektown showed one officer shove a man to the ground. He then gets up and a second officer punched him and he hits the ground hard.

The videos were recorded by Traquan Shields who shared them with 7 Action News. He says the confrontations happened after people left a club closing at 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

New video also shows what happened minutes before. A man in an orange mask starts shoving police. Several officers move in, there’s punching and officers can be seen using their knees.

The next video shows a man in a blue and orange Detroit Tigers shirt try to intervene, but he’s stopped by another man wearing a red shirt.

Then the third video, that man in the Tigers shirt is shoved one by an officer to the ground, gets up and is punched hard, and hits the ground hard.

The attorney for three men involved in the altercation, including Marcus Alston who was seen in the video being punched by an officer, held a press conference on Thursday. The attorney said the men were out celebrating their friend's upcoming marriage when they went to check out what was going on between a large group of officers and another group of people.

"We've all now been ... the witnesses of the unfortunate death of George Floyd, we can't just sit around, stand around and do nothing," the men's attorney said.

Watch the full press conference below:

RELATED: 'I do have serious concerns.' DPD interim chief addresses video that shows officer punch man

Interim Police Chief James White said Monday afternoon, “I did not see de-escalation there. I did not see our training there.”

The man who hits the ground is raised up by police. But then they leave and the man is helped away by citizens. He was not arrested. That’s key in this ongoing investigation.

The procedures are if the man had assaulted police in any way, he would be arrested.

Interim Chief White also said, “I see what you see that it appears to be an unprovoked attack or unprovoked use of force. Not an attack, an unprovoked use of force.”

The chief said the investigation will look at bodycam videos and surveillance videos.