A man was recently killed following a traffic stop in Northeast Baltimore. While the police aren’t saying much, witnesses are speaking out against a disturbing scene that played out, alleging Baltimore police and officers from Morgan State University ganged up on the man and beat him until he died.
The Baltimore Sun reports that police made a traffic stop on 44-year old Tyrone West. Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said officers suspected drugs were in the vehicle. He goes on to say West resisted officers but was brought under control before going into “medical distress” and dying on the scene.
That’s the brief, police version being offered at this time. The Department, however, says they have “more questions than answers” and are currently investigating.
Witnesses to the traffic stop and subsequent beating saw a far more complete version of events.
According to them, West placed his hands out of the vehicle as cops approached—seemingly in response to their orders. He was then sprayed in the face with pepper spray hit a few times before running a short distance into a nearby alley. That’s when police began beating him with their batons in his head and back.
Another witness account says that West was calmly standing and waiting to be arrested when the pepper spray was used. In all, about 10 officers arrived for back-up, some of them from nearby Morgan State University.
West is said to have screamed for help several times as he was beaten. He was kicked in the face, punched, and hit with batons.
“Even if he was dirty (had drugs on him), he did not resist arrest,” said Ayesha Rucker, one of the witnesses.
At some point, the beating stop and officers backed away as one performed CPR on West.
West was unarmed. He did have a criminal history that included resisting arrest. It isn’t clear if the responding officers knew West or if this was their first interaction with him. A police spokesperson refused to comment on the allegations that West was beaten.
Police brutality is not a new occurrence in Baltimore. Last summer, the death of 46-year old Anthony Anderson was ruled a homicide by the state medical examiner, after he was thrown to the ground during a drug arrest. No charges were filed in that case.
Events like this widen the gap between police and the communities they work in. They foster a dysfunctional relationship where one side doesn’t trust the other out of fear for their lives.
When you are caught on the “wrong side” of the law, you need someone there who has your best interests in mind. Contact our offices today to discuss your case and how we might be able to help.