Dashcam video released as evidence in an excessive force lawsuit against the St. Louis Police Department shows an officer warning her fellow officers to stop beating a man while she turns of the camera.
The video shows 18-year-old Cortez Bufford being dragged from a car, beaten, and kicked by up to seven officers while resisting arrest.
The footage shows police attempting to take Bufford and a companion into custody after receiving a 911 call about shots fired on April 11 of last year.
As Bufford’s companion exits the vehicle and is handcuffed, officer Nathaniel Burkemper argues with Bufford through the car window before reaching inside and opening the door.
As Burkemper struggles with Bufford, pulling him from the car, multiple officers rush in, kicking him repeatedly while shocking him with a Taser.
According to the police report, Burkemper warned the other officers that Bufford had a gun. Police recovered a 9mm semi-automatic pistol with four rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber from Bufford.
When officers attempt to get the suspect to his feet, an officer identified as Kelli Swinton can be heard saying, “Hold up, hold up, y’all. Everybody hold up… It’s red right now,” a phrase used by officers to indicate they are being recorded. “If you’re worried about cameras, just wait,” the officer says, just seconds before the video cuts off.
Watch the raw footage:
A separate dashcam video recorded what happened after Burkemper’s camera was turned off, with officers huddled around Bufford.
That camera shuts off too, leaving a gap of more than two minutes before Bufford is seen stumbling and falling once as he’s taken to a police vehicle.
Bufford was initially charged with unlawful use of a weapon and misdemeanor of resisting arrest, but those charges were dropped in criminal court on Aug. 26 after the video was entered into evidence.
The civil suit against the department for excessive force was filed by Bufford January, 22.
Police say the officer who turned off the camera “has been recommended” for discipline