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BPD responds to viral video of pre-2016 arrest

Posted at 1:59 PM, Jul 25, 2020

BALTIMORE — A video that surfaced over the weekend on social media has sparked a Baltimore Police Department review.

The video is of an arrest from at least four years ago and shows two Baltimore City police officers making an arrest. One officer is kneeling on the arrestee's back, while the other is kneeling by his head, holding his right arm and, later in the video, pinning his head to the ground.

At one point in the video, the officer kneeling on the arrestee's back pulls out his gun and tells those watching to back up.

But it’s not just how the arrest was made that has people upset. Tawanda Jones first saw in yesterday morning.
What also stood out to her: she recognized the officer who pulls out the gun.

"Tears just started. I just started crying so bad," said Jones.

Because she believes he had something to do with her brother Tyrone West’s death while in police custody.

In July of 2013, officers stopped West for a traffic violation. When police noticed a bulge in his sock and tried to inspect it, West started running.

Officers chased him and got him in to handcuffs. He died while in custody. An official autopsy says he died of a heart condition during the struggle, but Jones and her family commissioned a review that concluded west died because he was unable to breathe while restrained.

Jones said the man holding the gun was one of the officers that initiated the traffic stop.

This newly surfaced video, bringing back those painful memories.

"When we see them brutalizing people, do you know what that does to me? And my family and his children watching this? We see, instead of seeing that victim, we see Tyrone West laying on the ground, getting murdered all over again. It needs to stop," said West.

She believes police brutality is what killed him. As she continues to search for justice for her brother, she’s searching for justice for this man, and others now too.

"I want someone from the outside to come in and I want them to look at this pattern [of violence]... It is unacceptable. I’m not asking. I’m demanding," said Jones.

BPD was made aware of this video and sent out the following statement:

The Baltimore Police Department is aware of video circulating on social media showing an officer making an arrest. The department has confirmed that this incident occurred prior to 2016. Due to the nature of this incident it is currently under review by our Public Integrity Bureau.

When asked if the officer was still an employee, a spokesman for the department said they received our request and more information should come tomorrow.