A Louisville police officer faces an internal investigation after an onlooker caught him on video punching a Black man repeatedly in the face, after the man was restrained and on the ground.
LMPD chief Erika Shields said in a statement the officer’s behavior “raises serious questions and is not consistent with LMPD training.”
She did not name the officer. The Professional Standards Unit investigation, which looks at violations of department policies, will focus on the officer’s conduct as well as the on-scene supervisor, Shields said. She did not name the supervisor.
The incident took place Sunday afternoon near Jefferson Square Park, the heart of the protest movement that sprung up last year after Louisville police shot and killed 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in her home.
An 85-second video posted to social media showed officers attempting to place handcuffs on Denorver Garrett, who is a frequent protestor, before taking him to the ground. One officer repeatedly strikes Garrett in the face. An officer can be heard telling Garrett, “Put your hands behind your back.”
The citation said Garrett was arrested for standing in the middle of West Jefferson Street at 6th Street holding a large cross, “causing a disturbance to the public and causing a safety issue to motorists.” He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
According to the citation, an officer “delivered 2-3 closed hand strikes,” but the video shows the officer punching Garrett at least four times. Garrett was released on personal recognizance and is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday, according to public records.
The citation listed officer Marc Christiansen as the complaining witness.
This story has been updated to clarify Marc Christiansen’s involvement in this incident and the new arraignment date for Denorver Garrett.