Activists meet with Eastpointe police chief after brutality claim

Eastpointe police finally break their silence on a tape that shows the beating of an unarmed restrained black man by several white officers.

Video taken more than a year ago shows a man named Frankie Taylor, being uncooperative, but not violent with Eastpointe police after being picked up for a DUI. Shortly after, a group of white officers restrain the unarmed black man, beating him unconscious.

"Stop resisting," an officer says as Taylor is surrounded by officers with their backs to the camera.

Taylor says he was not provided treatment for his wounds and lost sight in one eye. The FBI is also investigating.

FOX 2: "Were the officers in the right? Or are you sorry for what happened?"

Well, I explained to them that the police department always has to act within the constraints of the Constitution," said John McNeilance, director of public safety. "And every abuse of action that the police department makes is thoroughly reported and reviewed."

McNeilance held a meeting Wednesday with representatives of the concerned community, hoping to reach some sort of peace. 

"We had a constructive meeting, we had an open exchange of ideas, it was lively at times," he said. "But productive I thought."

In attendance were activists Sam Riddle and Rev. W.J. Rideout. They say their demands for a public apology, and the termination of those officers were not met.

"No racism, no kind of police brutality, needs to be around any community," said Rev. W. J. Rideout of All God's People Church. "

"To their credit, the chief, his staff, and the community organization met," said Sam Riddle, Michigan National Action Network. "It was a productive meeting; we still have a few steps to ensure that policies are in place so the behavior that we saw on that tape never occurs again."

McNeilance says he cannot comment on their requests yet because of the pending the litigation against the police department. The legal action is the only reason this video recently came to light.

However, the department has released the arrest report which says Taylor clawed at police, tried to bite them and even spit at them claiming he had AIDS.

"We don't comment specifically on personnel matters," McNeilance said.

In the meantime, the National Action Network has placed a travel ban for black motorists on Eastpointe, which McNeilance says is unnecessary.

As for the next steps, Riddle and Rideout say they've talked about having more meetings with police, until a solution is reached that works for all parties involved.

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