A Baltimore police officer who was caught on camera brutally beating a civilian has resigned.
The Baltimore Police Department confirmed on 12 August that the unidentified police officer had stepped down, one day after the disturbing video led to his suspension.
Footage filmed by an eye witness starts with a black man yelling “For what?!” on a Baltimore sidewalk.
The officer, who is also black, and had served in the department for just over a year, is then seen shoving the man in the chest before striking him several times.
Although the victim, identified as 26-year-old Dashawn McGrier, tries to block punches being thrown at him, he doesn't appear to fight back and soon falls to the ground.
The video ends with the both men on the floor with the officer pinning the man- now bleeding from his head- down on the sidewalk with his arm across his neck.
According to the police statement, the incident occurred after Mr McGrier was stopped by police, let go and then approached again. When McGrier was asked for his identification, he refused, and the situation quickly escalated.
The city's Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said he was "deeply disturbed" by the incident, which provoked a strong response from the online community, and wasted no time in suspending him.
“The officer involved has been suspended while we investigate the totality of this incident. Part of our investigation will be reviewing body worn camera footage,” Mr Tuggle said.
"I have zero tolerance for behaviour like I witnessed on the video today. Officers have a responsibility and duty to control their emotions in the most stressful of situations."
— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) August 12, 2018
Hours later, the officer’s departure was announced on the Baltimore Police department’s Twitter page.
“The officer involved in yesterday’s incident is no longer with the BPD. Interim Commissioner Tuggle has accepted his resignation,” the message read.
The official statement added that a second officer who witnessed the attack, but failed to intervene ,remains on administrative duties pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.
Mr McGrier’s lawyer Warren Brown says his client and the officer have history. McGrier is currently facing assault charges for allegedly assaulting the officer in June, which he is contesting in court.
"He is charged with assaulting that officer then, and so here this officer now is like, you know, going after him," Brown said.
Mr McGrier is now planning to take legal action against the officer.
"It is just an act of police brutality that was unwarranted, and it just does nothing for police-community relations," Mr Brown said. "It does nothing to lower crime. My client was not involved in any criminal activity. It's just gratuitous violence that's unnecessary and does no good for the city."