A Dallas Police officer has been placed on leave and a criminal investigation launched after a video was posted on social media of the officer beating a man.
In the video, a disturbance is happening on Elm Street in Deep Ellum as several officers try to keep people apart.
A man steps in and has words with the officer who then starts restraining and repeatedly punching the man. Two other officers then step in to pull the officer off the man.
Police have not identified any of the officers or people involved in the incident that witnesses say happened on July 21.
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The video did not record the sound of what the man said to the officer
Former Dallas Police spokesman Gil Cerda watched the video and said it is too soon to draw conclusions about the incident.
“Striking him in the face was a little bit rough, but only the officer knows how much this guy, I'm talking about the suspect, was resistant,” Cerda said.
Activist Dominique Alexander with the Next Generation Action Network said the picture is clear.
“Chief Eddie Garcia knows what he needs to do about that. Discipline the officer,” Alexander said.
Dallas police issued a press release about the incident even before many people knew it had happened as the video began to circulate on social media.
The release said the officer was placed on leave and a criminal investigation started.
“Chief Garcia would like to commend those officers who recognize their duty to intervene in this incident and deescalated the situation," the statement said.
Dallas has arranged for bystandership training that every officer will receive to help them understand how to intervene and stop misconduct they witness.
Tarleton State Criminal Justice Expert Alex Del Carmen said he also watched the video.
“I'm relieved to have seen these other officers intervene,” Del Carmen said.
Chief Eddie Garcia declined an interview request.
Del Carmen said Garcia deserves credit for how he is handling this situation.
“He is waiting to comment once the investigation is concluded. But he was right to put this officer off the streets and put a pause button here to determine what is going to happen in the future,” Del Carmen said.
The expert said this approach for quick action and transparency is what people expect in a new era of policing.
“I think the pandemic and the death of George Floyd have really changed some of the rhetoric and dynamics in policing and will forever change that,” Del Carmen said.
The University of North Texas at Dallas is providing the bystandership training for Dallas Police.