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Video appears to show Hammond police hitting handcuffed man

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HAMMOND — Video from a January incident in Hammond appears to show police officers hitting a handcuffed man who is lying on the ground, WWL-TV reports.

According to the news outlet, the person who took the 47-second video said police originally attempted to stop the suspect, identified as 25-year-old David Jenkins Jr., of Albany, for routine traffic violations and a missing license plate.

But Jenkins allegedly fled from police and led them on a chase that ended when Jenkins crashed the car he was driving at Morrison Boulevard and University Avenue, a wreck that sent two people to a local hospital with minor injuries.  

At this point, WWL-TV says Jenkins led police on a brief foot pursuit before being apprehended.

In the video, once police had Jenkins on the ground, one officer kneed Jenkins twice and punched him until the other officer grabbed his fist. A total of five punches appear to have been thrown by the officer in the video.

A police dog was also involved and Jenkins' family says he was bitten in the leg, which required that he receive a tetanus shot. 

Jenkins was booked on a host of counts, including aggravated resisting an officer by flight, reckless operation of a vehicle and two counts of negligent injuring, as well as several traffic violations.

According to WWL-TV, he is being held in the Hammond City Jail until his May court date.

“Once the guy was down and you handcuffed him, that should have been the extent of the call right there. With all the kicking and the hitting and the dog was unnecessary. Once you had the man detained, he was no longer a threat,” said Kip Andrews, a member of the Hammond City Council and former law enforcement officer.  

The Hammond Police Department says it is investigating the incident.

Hammond Police Chief Edwin Bergeron released a statement about the incident via email, saying, “A thorough internal investigation of the officers' actions is ongoing. It's not appropriate for me to comment during the investigation.”

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