Police in Charlotte are trying to determine whether officers used excessive force after a video surfaced Tuesday that appeared to show an officer repeatedly striking a suspect in the back as other officers held the man down.
The 10-second video shows a man face down on the ground surrounded by seven Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers and an N.C. Highway Patrolman. One officer appears to hit the man on the back repeatedly.
The department has not released the name of any of the officers in the case. The suspect was identified as Malcolm Glenn Elliott II, 26. He was charged with hit and run, resisting arrest and driving with a revoked license. Police say his only injury was “a minor abrasion on his arm,” but investigators are unclear whether he got the scratch in the collision or from being punched. Police say Elliott did not request or require medical attention.
Elliott was in Mecklenburg jail late Tuesday with bail set at $2,000.
The video was obtained by WBTV, the Observer’s news partner. The person who recorded the video asked to remain anonymous, but said police on the scene told the man to put his hands up and get on the ground. The witness said the suspect complied and was surrounded by the group of officers and one was beating on the man’s back.
The witness says the man did not appear to be resisting police.
Police say the series of events started just before noon Tuesday when a trooper was flagged down following a hit-and-run collision at Village Lake Drive and Independence Boulevard.
CMPD officers responded to search for the car and the suspect. The man was ultimately found near the Sardis Place apartments. As officers tried to approach the suspect, he ran and officers gave chase, police said.
A news release summed up the department’s version of the use of force: “The suspect resisted as officers attempted to restrain him and continued to pull his arms away from officers as they attempted to place him in handcuffs. One officer delivered strikes to the suspect’s back in an effort to gain compliance and take him into custody.”
The excessive force investigation is ongoing. Police say they are gathering information, interviewing witnesses and reviewing video footage. Police encouraged anyone with additional information to call CMPD Internal Affairs Unit at 704-336-2336.