Philly Mayor: Police Beating 'Inappropriate'

Police commissioner urges caution, says "videotape doesn't tell you everything."

May 8, 2008 -- Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter condemned the actions of police officers caught on tape beating three shooting suspects

"It absolutely shows inappropriate behavior," Nutter said today on "Good Morning America." "There is a way to take people into custody ... and there (are) not acceptable ways of taking people into custody."

A sergeant and five officers have been removed from street duty as authorities investigate the video footage, according to the Associated Press.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey, who was also on "GMA," urged the public to wait until the investigation was completed before jumping to conclusions.

"With all due respect, none of … us were out there. We don't know the circumstances. The video doesn't tell you everything," he said.

The three men who were dragged from a car and beaten by Philadelphia police were suspects in an earlier shooting, Ramsey said.

In that incident, officers were doing surveillance when they saw four individuals get out of a car, approach a group of men and open fire. Ramsey said one of the four suspects ran, but the other three got in a car and sped away.

"The officers never lost sight of that vehicle," said Ramsey. "That car was the one the officers stopped — the one that appears in the video tape."

City on Edge

Tensions are running high in Philadelphia, after an officer was shot dead Saturday, and the violent beating caught on tape Monday night.

Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski was fatally shot after a robbery, and devastated fellow officers spent the weekend searching for a suspect in that murder.

Philadelphia police confirmed today the arrest of a third suspect in Liczbinski's death. Eric Floyd, 33, was arrested Wednesday night after police followed up on a tip.

Ramsey said that Liczbinski's death is no excuse for the actions of the officers caught on tape.

"I understand the emotion," said Ramsey. "I understand everything that's involved, but there's nothing in our policy that would allow kicking individuals and taking them into custody the way I saw on that tape."

Then about 15 more officers arrived on the scene, some of whom yanked the two passengers out of the car. Officers kicked and beat the men, even hitting one with a baton.

One officer can even be seen running from one fight to the next.

The incident left all three men, who were charged in the shooting, in the hospital. The three suspects — Dwayne Dyches, Brian Hall and Pete Hopkins — were each charged with attempted murder, police told the Associated Press.

One of their defense attorneys, D. Scott Perrine, said of one of his clients: "He was handcuffed to a gurney, he was in a fetal position. He had a lump on his head the size of a baseball."

"We cannot condone and explain away the brutal and savage beating by Philly['s] police department," said Perrine.