WGN-TV reports that the incident happened during a traffic stop on March 26, when cops pulled a vehicle over for littering. However, an officer proceeded to punch the victim, Diabate Hood at least six times. Hood was in the car with two other men, one who was reportedly Black and the other Latino.
While the two other men got out of the car, Hood—who was the driver—attempted to evade officers by escaping through the passenger side door. Three cops got to him first, which is when the attack on Hood happened. In the video, an officer yells “stop resisting,” as they have him pinned between them. Hood also tells them he can’t breathe.
*Warning: Graphic Video Below*
The Grand Rapids police say officers were following the department’s Operation: Safe Neighborhoods campaign, which was launched due to the area’s growing violent crimes. GRPD Chief Eric Payne seemingly backed his officers’ actions, saying, “This is the police work that I expect from my personnel.” He continued, “I have made the enforcement of violent crime and the recovery of illegal firearms one of the department’s top priorities.”
The department alleges that officers discovered four weapons in Hood’s car, leading to three felony arrests. “What I saw in the video was another George Floyd,” Tyrone Bynum, the lawyer for the three men, said. “My point is why are we to this point anyway? This is a felony-type stop. Why are we asking these guys to get out of the vehicle? Why are we handcuffing them?”
Bynum pointed to the fact that one of the officers told Hood he’s “lucky he’s not dead.” Bynum said, “For that to be a statement made in the heat of the moment, that was an honest statement and an honest belief of an officer that believed that was a possibility. I mean actually stated, he actually said, ‘You’re lucky.’”
According to GRPD, the department supervisors and its Training Unit looked over the footage, and Internal Affairs hasn't launched an investigation.