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New Orleans policemen suspended
Monday, 10 October 2005, 03:27 GMT 04:27 UK
By Alistair Leithead
BBC News, New Orleans

Police in New Orleans have suspended three officers and launched a criminal

investigation after a 64-year-old man was filmed being beaten in the street.

Robert Davis was being arrested for drunkenness, but a police spokesman said the
amount of force used was "not appropriate".

The incident on Conti Street, in the city's French Quarter, was filmed by the Associated
Press on Saturday night.

The officers, charged with battery, will appear in court at a later date.

The footage filmed by an Associated Press cameraman clearly shows Robert Davis being
repeatedly punched and kicked by a group of police officers.

It took place near the busy Bourbon Street, with bars and restaurants which have
recently reopened after Hurricane Katrina.

The police said the man was being arrested for public drunkenness, initially by two
officers, and then a number of others joined in.

He appeared to show little aggression towards the police, who pulled him to the ground,
punched and kicked him in the face.

He was handcuffed and the film clearly shows a pool of blood on the pavement as a
result of his injuries.

A New Orleans police department spokesman said a criminal investigation is being
launched and that three officers were being suspended on the basis of the evidence
seen on the tape.

He added that the force used was not appropriate.

It is not the kind of image the already embattled police department would like to

The chief recently resigned as an enquiry was launched into why 250 police officers
did not appear for work the day after the storm and into isolated accusations of police
carrying out looting.

Although the spokesman denied race was an issue, the fact that Mr Davis was
African-American and the police were mostly white may result in accusations of racism.

they showed the video on British tv news last night, you can view the video in the link
i added at the top
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