Video: Police smash man's head to ground in parking arrest

Law enforcement officials in Rhode Island are looking into the conduct of two longtime Providence police officers shown on video smashing a handcuffed man’s face into the pavement over the weekend

ByThe Associated Press
July 06, 2022, 4:43 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Law enforcement officials in Rhode Island are looking into the conduct of two longtime Providence police officers shown on video smashing a handcuffed man’s face into the pavement over the weekend.

State Attorney General Peter Neronha and the Providence Police Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility have opened investigations into the arrest of a man at the city’s India Point Park following a July Fourth holiday fireworks celebration Sunday, The Boston Globe reported.

Capt. Stephen Gencarella and Lt. Matthew Jennette arrested Armando Rivas, 21, around 9:30 p.m. for leaving his parked vehicle unattended in the travel lane, the newspaper reported.

Police say the officers struck Rivas in the head, handcuffed him and took him to the ground after he resisted arrest.

But a video obtained by GoLocalProv and shared on YouTube shows that as Rivas was handcuffed and lying face down, one of the officers grabbed his head and smashed his face into the pavement, the Globe reported.

Rivas was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstructing an officer and simple assault.

It couldn’t be immediately determined whether Rivas or the two officers have lawyers to speak on their behalf. A police department spokesperson said the officers remain on duty.

The Providence police union didn't respond to a call seeking comment.

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