Video of Louisiana cop punching a black man in a booking room

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Outrage after 2017 video emerges of Louisiana cop punching a handcuffed black man in a booking room – less than two years before he was PROMOTED to Police Chief.

Community activists have been left outraged by a newly uncovered video showing a Louisiana Police Chief repeatedly punching a handcuffed black man who had been taken into custody.

The surveillance video was recorded in a Hammond Police Department booking room back in December 2017, after cops arrested the man, Kentdrick Ratliff, for drug possession.

The footage shows Ratliff reach for a pill bottle that had been confiscated by the cops before they aggressively detain him.

One of the officers – Edwin Bergeron – is seen punching Ratliff five times with a closed fist after pulling him onto a desk.

Bergeron was not disciplined for his conduct, despite an independent Texas consultancy describing his conduct as ‘excessive and borderline criminal.’

Just over a year after the incident, Bergeron was promoted to Police Chief, a position he still holds today.

Sgt. Edwin Bergeron was promoted to Hammond Police Chief in 2019, despite surveillance video showing him punching a handcuffed black man less than two years prior. City officials are standing by him

The full surveillance footage was first published by WBRZ, who interviewed Ratliff about the incident.

He said he made a ‘bad decision’ in reaching for the confiscated pill bottle – which contained marijuana, Xanax and other prescription drugs.

However Ratliff says he does not believe the officer’s reaction was appropriate.

The surveillance footage shows Bergeron and other officers try to subdue and detain Ratliff, who was tasered and put into handcuffs.

‘I got beat, stomped, kicked in my groin,’ Ratliff told the news network.

‘I got beat, stomped, kicked in my groin,’ Ratliff told the news network.

The surveillance video was recorded in a Hammond Police Department booking room back in December 2017, after cops arrested the man, Kentdrick Ratliff, for drug possession. Ratliff is seen at right, before reaching for his pill bottle
The surveillance video was recorded in a Hammond Police Department booking room back in December 2017, after cops arrested the man, Kentdrick Ratliff, for drug possession. Ratliff is seen at right, before reaching for his pill bottle 

At the time, then-Hammond Police Chief, James Stewart, ordered an internal investigation.

Only one cop involved in the violent incident – Sergeant Thomas Mushinsky  – was reprimanded, after the camera captured him kicking Ratliff.

The video was also sent to the FBI for review, but the bureau decided not to take any action against the officers.

Bergeron was not disciplined for his conduct, despite an independent Texas consultancy describing his conduct as 'excessive and borderline criminal'
Bergeron was not disciplined for his conduct, despite an independent Texas consultancy describing his conduct as ‘excessive and borderline criminal’

Local officials are standing by now-Police Chief Bergeron, despite the video.

A statement released from Hammond City government, provided to WBRZ, stated: ‘With all of this going right, why is the video coming up again?’

‘It seems more motivated by a personal vendetta instead of a real interest in the public safety of Hammond.’

Hammond Mayor Pete Panepinto previously defended Bergeron, and endorsed his promotion to Police Chief, saying he had served nearly two decades with the department.

‘There’s the usual armchair quarterbacks or people not in policing who assume they may know about what policing entails,’ he reportedly said prior to Bergeron’s promotion.

But community activists say the video should be reinvestigated.

‘First note that there are people that are on the force that are great,’ activist Jermaine Luckett stated.

‘This is not an attack on police. This is saying that if something is wrong in the department, the citizens have the power to stand up do it the right way and get them out of office.’

‘An effective solution in my mind is to restart the investigation completely’.

A handful of officers appeared on the scene in a bid to subdue Kentdrick Ratliff
A handful of officers appeared on the scene in a bid to subdue Kentdrick Ratliff

[Daily Mail]

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