Providence Police Sgt Joseph Hanley (pictured) was charged with assault following his violent arrest of Rishod Gore on April 19
New footage captured the moment a white Rhode Island cop brutally attacked a black man during an arrest back in the spring.
Providence Police Sgt Joseph Hanley was charged with assault following his violent arrest of Rishod Gore, 28, on April 19. He has pleaded not guilty and the case is still pending.
The head of the Providence External Review Authority (PERA), a civilian group which reviews police conduct, released two videos of the incident on Tuesday. One is from a cop’s body camera and the other was recorded by a witness.
The videos purportedly show Hanley dragging Gore out of his car, throwing him to the ground and handcuffing him.
Hanley then proceeds to kneel on Gore’s neck while repeatedly punching and kicking him in the ribs and head, the videos show. The state attorney general’s office accused Hanley of those same actions in its criminal case against him.
Gore was originally charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, but those charges were ultimately dropped. Gore later reached a $50,000 settlement with the city.
Police have not said why the officers tried to arrest Gore in the first place, merely saying he was at the scene where another man was arrested over a domestic dispute earlier that night.
The incident took place just a month before George Floyd, a black man, was killed when a white Minneapolis cop knelt on his neck during an arrest, sparking months of protests around the country.
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The Providence External Review Authority (PERA) released bodycam video on Tuesday which purportedly showed Hanley kicking and punching Gore during the April arrest
The bodycam video also showed an officer identified as Hanley kneeling on Gore’s neck
PERA also released a second bystander video which showed Hanley kneeling on Gore
The executive director of PERA, Jose Batista, published the videos himself, noting that his own board had voted against their release to the public. City and state officials also opposed the move, according to WJAR.
But Batista, who was elected to Rhode Island House of Representatives last week, said he felt that the public needed to see the videos, even if it could lead to his firing.
‘I had positive and productive working relationships with almost everybody on the [PERA] board. But the more I advocated the release of this video, the worse those relationships began to deteriorate,’ Batista said at a press conference on Tuesday.
‘That is something that I think is unfortunate. And the people have a right to know how they are being policed and what happens as a consequence.’
The executive director of PERA, Jose Batista, published the videos of Gore’s arrest himself after the group’s board voted against releasing them to the public. Batista explained his decision at a press conference on Tuesday (pictured)
Batista said he was frustrated that police had left his organization out of its investigation into Hanley’s conduct on the night he arrested Gore.
Police have revealed few details about what led up to the arrest in the Federal Hill neighborhood of Providence. They said officers had responded to a domestic dispute in Federal Hill and arrested another man from Woonsocket.
Gore was among the people present outside the building where the dispute took place when the Woonsocket man was taken into custody, police said.
Hanley and the other officers then found Gore in his car nearby, as seen in the bodycam video.
The video begins with three officers walking down a street and approaching a parked car with Gore sitting in passenger seat next to a woman in the driver’s seat.
Hanley is seen opening the front passenger door and reaching in to grab Gore’s wrist as another officer runs over to help him yank the man out of the car.
A struggle ensues for almost a minute before Gore is thrown to the ground and handcuffed.
Gore is heard asking: ‘Why you pullin’ me like this man?’, to which Hanley replies: ‘Shut up.’
The bodycam video shows Hanley and another officer dragging Gore out of a car
The officers threw Gore to the ground and handcuffed him as he asked: ‘What did I do?’
Hanley (pictured) is heard repeatedly telling Gore to shut up
Gore appears to try to get away before Hanley puts his knee into the man’s neck and kicks him in the side.
‘Okay, good? Shut up,’ Hanley says as he presses down on Gore’s neck three times before lifting his knee. ‘If you act like an animal, I’m going to [indistinguishable].’
Hanley stands up and calls into his radio as Gore lies completely still and asks: ‘Yo, what did I do? What did I do?’
Hanley again tells him to shut up and steps on the back of his legs.
Part of the video is too pixelated to see clearly, but PERA said it showed Hanley punching Gore’s ribs and kicking his head.
The officer wearing the body camera is seen lifting Gore off the ground and escorting him to a waiting police cruiser before the footage cuts off.
The second video recorded by a witness showed the same scene from above.
Gore was originally charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, but those charges were later dropped. Police did not say why officers went to arrest him in the first place
The second video recorded by a witness showed the same scene from above
Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare called Batista’s decision to release the videos prior to the conclusion of Hanley’s criminal trial ‘disappointing’.
Pare also confirmed to WJAR that Hanley remains suspended without pay.
A union representing Providence police officers also condemned Batista’s actions.
‘The public release of the Joe Hanley video by the Executive Director of PERA, Jose Batista, clearly demonstrates how PERA…fails to act as and remain a neutral independent review board of Providence Police conduct,’ the union said.
‘The release of the video will now undoubtedly not only impede the ability of the Police Officer to receive a fair and impartial trial, but may impede the ability of the complainant to have his complaint properly adjudicated.’
Asked for comment about the videos, Gore’s lawyer Georgi Vogel-Rosen told the Providence Journal: ‘Mr. Gore is eager to put this horrific incident behind him. He has resolved his legal claims with the city and looks forward to moving on with his life. He has no additional statement to make at this time.’
Nick Figueroa, chairman of the PERA board, told the newspaper that he was still confident in Batista’s leadership but said the board had called for an emergency meeting to discuss his future as executive director.
‘We’ll be discussing what the direction of the organization will be,’ Figueroa said when asked if Batista would be fired.