Akron Police investigating arrest caught on video that appears to show officer striking man in face
Akron Police have responded to a video that shows two officers appearing to hit a man in the face while struggling to make an arrest.
Officers were checking a car's registration Saturday night when they found the tags were expired and the driver had warrants.
Police said officers lost sight of the car but spotted it a short time later at a Family Dollar on Copley Road.
Officers tried taking control of the driver, but a struggle started after an officer took the driver to the ground.
A video taken by a witness at the scene then shows the officers struggling with the driver, with one officer appearing to strike the man in the face several times.
The Akron Police Department said in a statement that "verbal commands were given to [the driver] to put his hands behind his back and to stop resisting. [He] did not comply, and officers continued to try to separate his hands to safely handcuff the suspect. During the 2-minute struggle to get [the man] into custody, strikes were used in addition to the physical grappling.”
One use-of-force expert says the officers' actions in the video were not excessive.
"In this video, you can see the officer utilize a couple of stun hits to get control of the subject,” said use-of-force expert Tim Dimoff. “You see the other officer come and help him as soon as the subject ceases to resist and puts his hands behind his back. You don't see the officers abuse the subject or hit them or stomp on them or anything else."
Police say once the driver was handcuffed, officers found a baggie containing powder that tested positive for fentanyl.
Police said the man had warrants for drug possession, domestic violence and contempt of court, among other charges.
Akron Police say the use of force by officers is now under investigation, and the police auditor and the Citizens' Police Oversight Board will be advised about the incident.