Police Video Shows US Officers Fatally Beating Black Man

By Buncombe, Andrew | The Independent (London, England), December 2, 2003 | Go to article overview
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Police Video Shows US Officers Fatally Beating Black Man


Buncombe, Andrew, The Independent (London, England)


AN INVESTIGATION has been launched in Cincinnati after a police video revealed officers beating a black man with steel clubs. The 25- stone man died shortly afterwards in hospital.

Six officers attempted to arrest Nathaniel Jones after a disturbance at a fast-food restaurant in the city known for racial tensions. The video camera, fitted in a police vehicle, showed Mr Jones, 41, being repeatedly struck by officers using their night- sticks.

Yesterday, activists said Mr Jones' death was another example of police brutality and racism in Cincinnati. The fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer in April 2001 prompted three nights of rioting in the Ohio city. Nathaniel Livingston of the Coalition for a Just Cincinnati, said: "How many of our people have to die before the city decides to do something about it?" But Charlie Luken, the city's mayor, resisted demands to ask the police chief to resign. He said: "What I saw was a 400lb-man violently attacking a police officer in a manner that put the lives of police officers at risk.

While the investigations will continue, there is nothing on those tapes to suggest that the police did anything wrong." An investigation into Sunday's incident is being carried out and the officers present, five of them white and one black, have been placed on administrative leave, the normal procedure when someone dies in an incident involving police.

An initial post-mortem examination might help support the claims of the officers that they were acting in self-defence. The test revealed that Mr Jones had an enlarged heart and that his blood contained both cocaine and PCP or angel dust, two drugs that can cause unusual or aggressive behaviour. Carl Parrott, the local coroner, said in a statement: "An opinion as to cause of death will be forthcoming when toxicology results and other investigative material, including reports of medical responders and the videotape of the arrest, have been reviewed."

The incident happened after a female employee at a White Castle restaurant called the emergency services in the early hours of Sunday to report that Mr Jones was lying on the grass outside having passed out.

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