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Expert: Shrewsbury Officers Did Not Use Excessive Force In Video

SHREWSBURY (CBS) – A video posted on YouTube is raising some questions about the use of force by Shrewsbury police.

The video shows officers trying to restrain a man inside a holding cell at the Shrewsbury Police Department.

The officers enter the cell and realize the man has tied something around his neck. Four officers then surrounded the prisoner. At some point the man kicks, and as three officers focus on his upper body, one officer kicks back.

The person who posted the video calls it police brutality, but is it?

WBZ-TV’s Peg Rusconi reports.

“That would not be my assessment,” said Tom Nolan.

Former Boston police officer and BU criminal justice professor Tom Nolan says a prisoner trying to take his own life would be a serious concern for the police.

“The man who’s laying on ground with whatever he’s got tied around his neck actually kicks at the officer, and the officer responds very quickly with a leg kick to the prisoner’s leg to basically put him down and subdue him, and he does it quickly,” said Nolan.

The suspect was being held on a domestic assault and battery. As a result of this episode, he was also charged with assaulting a police officer.

A spokesman for the Worcester district attorney said the Shrewsbury police asked the state police to review the video, and the state police found the officers’ actions passed muster.

Another former chief from another town said he questions whether the prisoner’s kick was voluntary.

The YouTube video lasts about three minutes. Officials said about 30 minutes of tape was reviewed.

Attempts to contact the man who was in the cell were unsuccessful.


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