Policing

Providence releases Body Worn Camera video from July 9 King Street arrests

In the difficult to watch videos, the alleged driver of the vehicle is dragged from the car, handcuffed and beaten… The juvenile is punched in the head repeatedly and his neck is contorted violently, while being restrained by multiple officers.
Photo for Providence releases Body Worn Camera video from July 9 King Street arrests

Published on August 19, 2021
By Steve Ahlquist

The Providence Police Department released hours of Body Worn Camera (BWC) footage last night related to the arrests of three unidentified juveniles on July 9. The footage was released pursuant to Access to Public Records Act (APRA) requests made by several news outlets. Around eight hours of video, 41 videos in total, were released, ranging in time from a few minutes to over a half an hour.

The videos show the arrests of three juveniles after a long pursuit and a crash into a fire hydrant on King Street in Providence. BB guns were taken at the scene. The video also appears to show at least one of the juveniles being severely beaten by at least one officer, to the extent that the Officer had to be pulled off the juvenile.

UpriseRI watched all the footage, and put together some very disturbing clips of police misconduct. Warning, these videos are difficult to watch. All the videos, in their entirety, are available here.

In the videos, the alleged driver of the vehicle is dragged from the car, handcuffed and beaten. Police acknowledge that he was injured when the car crashed into the fire hydrant, but still drag his body around, despite the fact that he could have sustained serious head, neck and spinal cord injuries. The juvenile is punched in the head repeatedly and his neck is contorted violently, while being restrained by multiple officers.

One officer, tentatively identified last Domingo Diaz, in apparent rage and after the juvenile has been restrained, screams, “Are you fucking kidding me?” before spitting on or near the juvenile.

A superior officer then reminds everyone, “We’re live! We’re live!” referring to the Body Worn Cameras.

Another view:

Another view:

Another view:

In another video, an officer screams “You piece of fucking shit!” As he arrests one of the juveniles.

Later, Officer Domingo Diaz, is seen and heard to be apparently screaming at three woman, one visibly pregnant. He once again has to be pulled away.

In their press release, the Department noted that due to the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (LEOBoR), “the Providence Police Department is prohibited from making any additional comments on the furtherance of this ongoing investigation.”

“An internal review of this incident is ongoing and Providence Police Officers Domingo Diaz and Mitchel Voyer remain on Administrative Leave with pay until the review of this incident is complete,” says the Department.

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha issued a statement after the videos were released:

“Consistent with Office policy and guidance from the Supreme Court Ethics Advisory Panel, we today authorized the release of Providence Police body-worn camera footage from an incident involving the arrest of three juveniles on July 9, 2021, in response to a public records request under the Access to Public Records Act. That authorization was given now that the investigation is substantially complete, that is, all witnesses to the incident that were available to the investigative team have been interviewed. Those witness interviews were concluded yesterday, August 17, 2021. Consistent with Office policy, the Supreme Court Ethics Advisory Panel Opinion, and our obligations as prosecutors under the Rhode Island Rules of Professional Conduct, this Office cannot comment at this time on the content of the body-worn camera footage.

“While those witnesses to the incident available to investigators have been interviewed, the investigation and evaluation of the evidence gained to date by this Office, the Rhode Island State Police and the Providence Police Department continues. We also remain in contact with our federal counterparts at the United States Attorney’s Office.

“We appreciate the continued public interest in this incident and will share additional information with the public as soon as we are prepared and permitted to do so.”

Calling the behavior of police officers in the videos “yet another example of unnecessary violence on the part of Providence Police,” the Black Lives Matter Rhode Island PAC (BLM RI PAC) will be holding a vigil at the providence Public Safety Complex on Friday, August 20 at 5pm to demand the repeal of the state’s LEOBoR statute.

“There has been no accountability for the violent behavior of police officers, this is why we have and are continuing to demand the repeal of LEOBoR,” writes Harrison Tuttle, Executive Director of the BLM RI PAC.

Speakers will include Mayoral Candidates Nirva LaFortune and Gonzalo Cuervo, Gubernatorial Candidate Luis Daniel Muñoz, State Senator Tiara Mack and Providence NAACP President Jim Vincent.

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