‘The culture of is broken’: Police under fire for ‘stomping’ on ‘panhandler’ in violent arrest

‘This is reckless use of force by this officer in my opinion’, city councilman Devyn Keith says

<p>The video, which was streamed live on Facebook, has amassed over 12,000 views and has been shared over 800 times</p>

The video, which was streamed live on Facebook, has amassed over 12,000 views and has been shared over 800 times

A police department in Huntsville, Alabama, has come under fire after footage of the violent arrest of a Black man emerged on social media, during which one officer “stomped” on the man's leg.

In footage taken on Monday at a MapCo store in the area shows one police officer wrestling with a man on the floor, who has been identified by police as 22-year-old Kemontae Hobbs.

Two other police officers join the scene and one aggressively stamps on his leg repeatedly, the footage shows.

Huntsville Police Department (HPD) told The Independent that officers responded to a 911 call placed by a convenience store employee at 6pm on Sunday.

They said that the “individual was non-compliant” and the officer called for backup before “an altercation with police subsequently occurred.”

Police said Mr Hobbs was arrested for obstructing government operations and resisting arrest.

The bystander footage, which was streamed live on Facebook, has amassed over 12,000 views and has been shared over 800 times.

Users were quick to lash out at the police department for their rough treatment of the man, with some calling for the officer to be fired as others said the action was “uncalled for.”

Huntsville City Councilman Devyn Keith was among the first to scrutinise police, describing how he was “baffled at the fact he storms in at the top and automatically goes to stomping.”

“The original officer still in what seems to be body control.... never throws a punch ... the Stomping Officer never aids in control,” he said in a comment.

He added: “Again, how do three other officers find it better to restrain rather than stomp … this is reckless use of force by this officer in my opinion”.

Speaking of the bystander video HPD said: “We have viewed citizen-provided video that partially captures the arrest process.”

They continued: “We understand concerns with use of force techniques used in the arrest and we take these concerns seriously,” the department said.

The department confirmed the incident is under review, “including all actions taken by officers during the arrest process.”

Alabama Representative Anthony Daniels told the Reporter that he was “disgusted by what [he] saw and look forward to a detailed response from our city.”

Huntsville Bail Fund, a community organisation that was fundraising for the man's release, said police were called because the man was panhandling outside a gas station.

"This latest incident should be all that Mayor Battle needs to confirm the crisis Huntsville faces when it comes to policing,” David Person, a spokesperson for the Rosa Parks Day Committee, a civil rights group in the area, told the Reporter.

He added: “The culture of policing in Huntsville is broken. The police chief needs to be fired. And if the mayor can't acknowledge that, he needs to resign."

The Independent has contacted the man who streamed the footage for comment.

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