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Elyria man in controversial arrest video wants officer fired for allegedly using excessive force

Published: Sep. 24, 2021 at 10:57 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2021 at 11:12 PM EDT
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ELYRIA, Ohio (WOIO) - A controversial video of an arrest for domestic violence triggered a protest against police brutality across from the Elyria Police department.

About two dozen community members stood their ground on the issue, including the 18-year-old man arrested and his mother, who said her son suffers from several forms of mental illness.

In the video that only shows a short portion of the arrest, you see an Elyria Police officer sitting on top of the mid-section of suspect Markese White.

At one point, the officer puts his hand around a portion of White’s throat, and then you see the back of the suspect’s head hit the sidewalk.

Chanta Rucker is the mother of the 18-year-old and said, “I want justice. I feel like it’s not right for a cop to slam a kid’s head to the concrete.”

Rucker told 19 News she asked officers if she could talk to her son before they arrested him for allegedly attacking his sister, and she claims she warned them that he was mentally unstable, “I told them he’s down there on the bike. But before you approach him, let me go talk to him because he’s mentally unstable. The cop said okay, but then he took off faster than I could get to my son and used the taser on him.”

Supporters of the family protested across from the police department for about three hours, talking about the incident and holding signs that said, “standup.”

But the Elyria Police Patrolman’s Association said the short video posted to social media does not tell the whole story of the arrest. In the police report from Tuesday, officers said White made verbal threats towards the officers.

The police union said, “…officers were observed using physical force to control a combative suspect, and we’re asking the community to withhold judgment until all the facts of this case have been investigated.”

It was the Elyria Police Chief who went to the county prosecutor after the video surfaced asking for an investigation into whether excessive force was used.

The unnamed officer is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

By the end of the three-hour protest, Markese White appeared in the crowd after his family found a way to bond him out of jail on a $38,000 bond, according to his mother.

White said he feels he was unfairly attacked by the police officer who first used a taser on him as he got off his bike, “I was mad that the cop did that. He should lose his job; that’s what I want.”

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