A sheriff’s deputy in Oregon has been reassigned pending an internal investigation after a man was violently beaten during a Monday arrest that was caught on video.
The footage, captured by Portland’s KGW-TV, shows a man being forced to the ground and restrained by four Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies. One of the deputies repeatedly punches the man while he is pinned to the ground. The man can be heard pleading with the officer to stop hitting him.
It appears the deputy delivered more than a dozen blows to the man’s head during the arrest, which occurred outside a post office in Detroit, Oregon.
The suspect, who police have identified as 28-year-old Kevin Straw, was allegedly in possession of a large knife at the time of his arrest. Straw, whom police have described as a transient, was ultimately cited for interfering with a police officer and resisting arrest. He was reportedly taken for medical treatment and a psychological evaluation.
According to The Oregonian, deputies responded to a call about a man who kept yelling while emergency responders were coordinating a search for two missing fishermen. Straw had reportedly been trying to warn searchers about cougars in the area. He was allegedly told to leave at least twice by deputies prior to his arrest.
The missing fishermen, The Oregonian reported, were later found safe.
On Tuesday, the deputy seen striking Straw was taken off patrol duty.
He “has been temporarily reassigned within the enforcement division to a non-patrol assignment until the review of the arrest is completed,” said a statement from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
The American Civil Liberties Union is calling for the Marion County District Attorney’s Office to launch an investigation.
“That video is disturbing,” David Rogers, executive director of the Oregon ACLU, told WKYC News. “It’s violent. Honestly, if that does not represent excessive use of force, I’m not quite sure what does.”