A graphic video that has circulated on YouTube since last Thursday shows two police officers slamming an elderly man in a wheelchair to the ground, according to Clutch Magazine.
In the video taken outside the U Street-Cardozo Metro Station, the two D.C. Metro Police officers ordered Dwight Harris to “get on the ground!” a few seconds before they pulled him out of the wheelchair and slammed his body onto the pavement. The video clearly shows a pool of blood circulating near Harris’ face.
The clip contradicts the official D.C. Metro Police statement that said: “The patron resisted arrest which resulted in him falling out of his wheelchair.” The video-recorded arrest has since stirred up criticism of the Metro Transit Police.
According to D.C. Metro Spokesperson Steven Taubenkibel, the police officers approached Harris for drinking an alcoholic beverage in public. When he refused to leave the area, the officers attempted to give him a citation, which he also refused. NBC Washington has reported that Harris had a blood alcohol level of .30 at the time.
Harris said he was cognizant of the arrest. “I was completely in my mind at the time. I wasn’t that intoxicated.”
The wheelchair-bound man’s face is still badly swollen from the arrest. He is in the process of seeking legal counsel, for the rough nature of his arrest, and his charges with assault on a police officer and drinking in public.