It’s been nearly a week since a Youtube video exposed two Metro Transit Police officers picking up a man from a wheelchair and slamming him facedown on the ground for allegedly drinking alcohol outside a Washington D.C. Metro station.
But the police brass still says they see nothing wrong with this behavior, allowing the police to continue their duties.
In fact, they are claiming that that 55-year-old Dwight Harris fell out of his wheelchair on his own, suffering only minor injuries, even though the video shows him lying in a pool of blood and a follow-up news video shows he received a black eye and several stitches.
Here is the police account of what took place last Saturday, according to a press release obtained by Cop Block.
On Thursday, May 19, the Metro Transit Police on routine patrol at the U St. Metrorail station observed a patron in a wheelchair drinking an alcoholic beverage. The officers asked the patron to leave the area and he refused. The officers then attempted to issue the patron a citation and when the patron refused to comply with the issuance of a citation he was told that he would be placed under arrest. The patron resisted arrest which resulted in him falling out of his wheelchair. The patron was arrested for assault on a police officer and drinking in public. The patron was transported to a local hospital with a minor injury. Metro Transit Police are following up on this report.
The video does not show where Harris assaulted the officers, but, of course, police will argue that it took place before the video started rolling. And it doesn’t show where he resisted arrest either.
However, considering the man is unable to walk and confined to a wheelchair, it is unlikely that he did either.
We all know that in many cases where cops accuse a citizen of assault, it’s merely a case of contempt of cop, which is not illegal.
Police say they were trying to issue him a citation for drinking alcohol in public and it went downhill from there.
One witness said police were ordering him to stand, which Harris is unable to do, which led to them body slamming him.
It is not clear who shot the video, but at least one other man was arrested for questioning the aggressive behavior of police, according to WUSA9.com
“His whole face is just leaking, it’s everywhere…And then I look again. He’s got handcuffs on. I’m like, ‘What are y’all doing? What’s going on?'” says witness Lawrence Miller.
When Miller tried to help the wheelchair-bound man, he says Metro Transit Police threatened and ultimately arrested him.
DC Councilman Jim Graham saw the video and demanded an investigation. Police say they will look into it and reveal their findings within ten days.