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Video shows police punching man on ground; officers on leave

KINSTON, N.C. (AP) — Two North Carolina police officers were placed on leave after at least one of them was shown on video throwing punches at a Black man who was taken to the ground after a foot pursuit.

A roughly 17-second video clip from a bystander’s cellphone during the arrest Monday night in Kinston appears to show an officer standing over David Lee Bruton Jr. and throwing multiple punches while he’s on the ground.

The leader of the local chapter of the NAACP called the video disturbing and the man’s mother said she’s grateful he’s alive.

Kinston Police Chief Tim Dilday said during a news conference Tuesday that officers were called to a business after an employee tripped a silent alarm during a disturbance. A police report said a 911 caller told police that Bruton had threatened her, according to The Free Press newspaper in Kinston.

Officers were questioning people and had detained Bruton, 36, when he walked away and a foot chase ensued, Dilday said.

Dilday acknowledged that “punches were thrown” by at least one officer. He said that neither Bruton nor any officers were injured. He said two officers shown on the video were placed on leave pending an investigation.

Bruton, who jail records say is Black, was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting an officer among other charges, Dilday said.

Barbara Sutton, president of the Lenoir County chapter of the NAACP, told WRAL-TV that she was “very, very disturbed and very outraged” by the video. She said she has received dozens of calls about it.

Bruton’s mother, Cynthia Bruton, told The Free Press that she’s grateful he’s alive and that “as far as we know, he’s OK” physically.

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