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GRPD defends use of force in arrest after video goes viral

clinton_rice.jpg

After a video of police officers using force to arrest an African-American Man went viral, the Grand Rapids Police Department is defending the officer’s actions. 

An 8 second video posted on Facebook shows two Grand Rapids Police Officers struggling to handcuff 26-year-old Clinton Rice outside a local gas station, when a third officer seemingly comes out of nowhere and strikes Rice twice with his knee.

The video’s post, which has been viewed thousands of times, uses vulgar language and suggests that the police officers used unnecessary force on a helpless man.

However, the GRRD says that video does not tell the whole story and subsequently released body cam footage of everything leading up to the arrest.

According to the police department, Rice was placed under arrest after gas station employees complained that he had been acting violent and was asked to leave. He then returned. After police officers were called, police dispatch notified the officers that Rice had an outstanding warrant after they determined his identitiy

GRPD spokesman Sgt. Catherine Williams issued this statement “As the officers were attempting to get him into handcuffs, a third officer was driving by and observed the individual wrestling with the officers.  As trained, he gave 2 knees strikes to Rice’s upper arm to get him to let go of his own arms tucked under his body. There was no issue whatsoever with this use of force.  What makes this one unique is that a passerby caught an 8 second clip of the 10 minute encounter and it just happened to be the time when the third officer gave the knee strikes. “
 

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