Use of force by Royal Oak PD questioned in St. Patrick's Day arrest

Some are questioning the use of force by Royal Oak police outside Blackfin.

A St. Patrick's Day party turned to chaos on a Royal Oak sidewalk. Police officers were caught on camera wrestling a man to the ground then pinning him to the pavement.

Witnesses say police went too far and used excessive force even though the man wasn't resisting arrest.

The video of the arrest outside of Black Fin in Royal Oak is now making its rounds on Facebook Friday.

"He was in fact fighting," said Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue. "And that's what it appeared to the officers and they took appropriate action."

But the Farmington Hills man arrested says he now has an attorney, and witnesses tell a different story.

One witness told FOX 2 the man saw another man hit a woman inside the bar, and began arguing with him when bouncers intervened and tossed him out. Police were there, ready to arrest him.

"We actually had a number of calls in a relatively short amount of time," O'Donohue said. "While we were out, the officers saw security dealing with an individual inside the bar and who appeared to be fighting."

Admitting their intoxication, witnesses tell FOX 2 the man was pulled into different directions by several officers and never resisted. They say he was then thrown to the ground, then tasered.

They yelling to officers that their friend was already down and to stop tasing him.

In the police report, officers say the man tried to get away several times breaking his hands free and stiffening his arms to avoid handcuffs.  The report adds that the man's friends made the arrest even harder.

"While they were trying to take him into custody, several of his associates surrounded the officer and interfered with the arrest."

Insisting he never got into a physical fight; witnesses add that police injured the man's face and wrist.

But police say he was seen swinging his arms, then, swatting the Tasers.

While the man has hired an attorney. police say a friend of his was also arrested for interfering.

On Friday O'Donohue watched video and listened to audio from the cops' uniforms. He says with any use of force, a complete review will be made.

"Everything appears to be fine," he said. "I'm not aware of any issue but we will do a thorough investigation like we do anytime we use force."


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