Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, were filmed slugging Sam Dorosan during an arrest on April 10 (video below).
Sgt. Don Coppola said Dorosan was stopped by the cops outside a convenience store during extra policing after a local shooting, reports The Advocate.
According to Coppola, 38-year-old Dorosan was grabbing at his pockets and acting in a nervous manner, which initiated the police investigation.
The cops alleged that Dorosan had some marijuana in his pockets. They said he did not want to go back to jail and resisted arrest.
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Part of the arrest, filmed by a bystander, shows two of the three cops striking Dorosan on the ground.
Coppola said internal affairs investigators began an investigation after learning about the bystander's video. None of the officers were placed on administrative leave. Coppola refused to name the cops involved in the incident.
Dorosan was charged with possession of marijuana, obstruction of justice, resisting an officer, and probation or parole violation.
The Rouge Collection expressed outrage over the incident:
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There is no justifiable reason that three fully grown, trained members of law enforcement can’t detain a person without beating them in the head. If you have to use your fist with three men holding a man on the ground, maybe you shouldn’t be a police officer.
Chief Carl Dabadie should fire the two officers who punched Sam Dorosan in the head. He didn’t fire the two officers last year, and one of those officers killed Alton Sterling. Are we going to sit back and wait until we have another Alton Sterling, or will our police chief take a stand against bad policing?
The Times-Picayune reported in January that people in the poorest zip codes in Baton Rouge are arrested for drugs at a far higher rate than wealthier zip codes, according to an analysis by Together Baton Rouge, a group of churches and community-based groups.
Together Baton Rouge came to its conclusion by studying arrests and locations between 2011 and 2016. The organization found most of the drug arrests were in the northern part of Baton Rouge where people are less likely to have graduated high school, have low incomes and are mostly black.
Broderick Bagert Jr., a leader with Together Baton Rouge, told the newspaper that the results showed a problem with police policy:
There is a powerfully different level of enforcement and arrest rate in our low-income, poorly educated different parts of town. It's so different, it can't be explained by a bias of individual police officers. A disparity this large is a reflection of policy, and in particular, different practices and even philosophies of policing for different kinds of neighborhoods.