EUCLID, OH - The Cleveland NAACP is pushing for answers after a disturbing video surfaced Saturday showing several Euclid officers in a violent struggle with a Cleveland man.
"During the action of the video what we could see is the police office slamming his head to the ground," said James Hardiman, a local attorney and president of the Cleveland branch of the NAACP. "We could see the police officer raining punches across his face."
The cell phone video shows Richard Hubbard III, 25, on the ground being hit repeatedly by an officer in the middle of the street.
Police say the incident happened just before 10:30 a.m. Hubbard was stopped for a traffic violation near 240 East 228th Street. Officers say Hubbard was ordered out of the car and told to face away. Police tell Fox 8 Hubbard ignored their order and began to resist as he was taken into custody. The violent struggle lasted longer than three minutes and was captured on police dash camera and cell phone video of a woman standing nearby.
Euclid Police released a statement about what happened Saturday evening:
"This entire incident will be reviewed, in detail, so that the public can have a full and open understanding of the series of events that eventually led to this violent encounter."
"This is not the first complaint that we've had about Euclid Police officers using excessive and unnecessary force against African-American people they are trying to apprehend or arrest," said Hardiman.
Earlier this year Luke Stewart, 23, was shot and killed by Euclid Police. The shooting happened while he was inside his vehicle. Police say the shooting occurred after officers were called to check out a suspicious vehicle. According to dispatch tapes an officer was inside the car as it sped off. BCI determined Stewart did not have a weapon.
A spokesperson for the Cleveland NAACP, Mike Nelson told the Fox 8 I-Team he plans to ask the Justice Department to look into the practices of the Euclid Police Department, to determine if there is a pattern of excessive force.
"This is unforgiveable...We don't believe by any stretch there was anything we saw in that video that was justified," said Hardiman. "We don't believe that the Euclid Police obviously have gotten the message yet. Whether this was an isolated incident or part of a pattern or practice we have yet to determine. Whatever the situation is it cannot be permitted to go unchallenged."
Police say Hubbard produced an I.D. but no license during the traffic stop. Officers tell Fox 8 they believed Hubbard was going to run, after trying to subdue him they used a taser. It's seen in the cell phone video sliding across the pavement.
Hubbard was medically examined and charged with resisting arrest and driving under suspension. Euclid Police say the arresting officer was treated and released from the hospital and is currently on paid administrative leave. Additional details about the officer were unavailable. In a written statement police did not specify if Hubbard had a weapon.
Fox 8 reached out to a Hubbard family member who says "he is resting" but declined to comment further on the incident.