MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Some said the video recorded on a cell phone showed police brutality in Memphis.
Demetrius Caffey, who was wanted for domestic assault, said officers used excessive force while arresting, even hitting him over the head with a pair of handcuffs.
Police confirmed Caffey filed a complaint with Internal Affairs and the incident was being investigated.
Caffey had a criminal record and previous arrests for domestic violence, but he said that did not give the police the right to rough him up.
“They were beating him and hit him in the face with the handcuffs and split his face open,” Caffey’s neighbor, Ronnie Cooper, told WREG.
Cooper said three weeks ago, police officers spotted Caffey in his front yard.
“They asked him, I guess, to come to their car, while he just ran inside my house. Which, he was here. It was fine and everything,” he said.
Caffey admitted he locked Cooper’s door to get away from the officers.
“I didn’t run. I walked in the house. I was standing right there by the door,” he said.
Cooper said what happened next was uncalled for.
Cell phone video recorded by a witness showed the officers on top of Caffey, trying to handcuff him.
That’s when Caffey said one of the officers used the handcuffs to hit him over the head.
He was left with a cut on his forehead.
Some of it you can see and hear in the video, but a lot of the language used by the police officers had to be edited out by WREG.
“Stand the f— up!” one was heard shouting at Caffey as they pulled him to his feet.
Cooper said they continued to be rough with him outside when he was pinned against their squad car.
“When they were searching him, they threw his property all over the street for everybody to pick up,” Cooper said.
The video showed the officer throw money, a cigarette lighter and other items onto the ground.
“They were insulting and harassing to innocent people who were here,” Cooper said of the officers.
“He fought me! He fought me mother—er!” an officer can be heard screaming at one of the witnesses.
“What do you want me to give him a hug and a Bible study when he’s going to fight me?” the officer asked the crowd.
The officers told the witnesses in the video Caffey became violent with them, trying to fight them off before the cell phone camera started recording.