A "WatchBlog" working to hold Black American leadership, opinion makers, public officials and institutions accountable.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Black Man Tased and Beaten in Peoria, IL.
A Peoria man was punched in the face, kicked, stomped on at least 20 times and repeatedly stunned with a Taser during his arrest by police after leading them on a brief chase in May.
Peoria Police Officers (above) Andrew Smith, left, and Gerald Suelter, were charged Wednesday with multiple counts of official misconduct and other charges in connection with the beating of another man.
Two of at least seven Peoria police officers involved in the arrest were formally charged Wednesday with multiple counts of official misconduct as well as mob action and battery for the alleged beating of then 33-year-old Bryce Scott.
Officers Gerald W. Suelter, 39, and Andrew R. Smith, 29, each face four counts of official misconduct and one count each of battery, mob action and aggravated battery. Both men appeared in court via video from the Peoria County Jail, where they have been held since their arrests on Monday.
Assistant State's Attorney Steve Pattelli on Wednesday offered details of the May arrest, both seen and those not caught on tape from an in-car video camera, that began after Scott stopped his SUV near Abington and Perry streets after a brief chase.
"One officer punched the driver at least twice in his face, and while three officers were handcuffing the driver, Peoria police officer Gerald Suelter approached and drew his electronic Taser . . . Suelter removed the air cartridge from his Taser and began to repeatedly stun the driver," Pattelli said, noting Scott was Tasered by Suelter at least three times.
"Peoria police Officer Andrew Smith was the last of the officers to arrive . . . after (Scott) had been pulled from the vehicle and was on the pavement with five other police officers above him," Pattelli continued. "When Smith arrived, he began to kick and stomp the driver at least 20 times, at one point repositioning himself for leverage." MORE HERE
By Denise Jackson at WEEK-TV reports:
Two Peoria police officers arrested for allegedly beating a man last May remain in custody tonight. They face a barrage of charges including aggravated battery and mob action.
The officers, Andrew Smith and Gerald Suelter (SEWL'–ter) are among six police officers named in a lawsuit filed by the victim Bryce Scott.
Dan Cusack is the attorney for Bryce Scott the man allegedly beaten by Peoria police officers last May after a chase in the North Valley.
The chase was captured on videotape in the squad car. After pulling over Scott put his hands out of the window as instructed by police and got out of his vehicle. The tape shows officers approaching Scott who is on the ground . Scott's attorney says without the videotape they would not have a good case against the police.
"To me it's just absolutely wrong. It's not about lawsuits. It's about a constitution and it's about activity and Bryce Scott is entitled to the constitution as much as Mother Theresa and he wasn't doing anything wrong at that point," Cusack said.
In January of this year Bryce filed a lawsuit against the police officers and the city. Cusack says his office has received about 30 complaints since the Scott incident. He is not sure if there is a pattern of excessive force among some Peoria cops.
He does not expect the civil lawsuit to go to trial until next year. The two police officers Smith and Suelter (SEWL'–ter) are scheduled to appear in Peoria County court tomorrow. More HERE
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