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Inquiry Opens Into Beating by 2 Okla. Officers

July 12, 2002|From Reuters

OKLAHOMA CITY — Two white Oklahoma City police officers are under investigation after a videotape showed them using batons, pepper spray and physical beating to subdue a black suspect lying on the ground, authorities said Thursday.

The officers are seen repeatedly hitting the suspect with batons as he apparently tried to avoid being handcuffed after being apprehended Monday for allegedly having sex with a prostitute in a van.

The Oklahoma case came amid furor in California over another incident in which a white police officer was videotaped beating a black teenager after a traffic stop.

Oklahoma police contend that the officers employed necessary force to subdue a suspect resisting arrest who was much larger than either of the police officers on the scene.

The arrest was filmed by Brian Bates, a self-described "video vigilante" who films men soliciting prostitutes and calls police to have them arrested.

"This is a use-of-force incident. We haven't had any formal complaint against the officers," said police spokeswoman Capt. Jessica Cummins.

"While he was not actively aggressive with the officers, he was actively noncomplying," Cummins said.

The two officers, Greg Driskill and E.J. Dyer, will remain on duty pending the official review.

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