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Baltimore police investigating use of force after arrest video goes viral on social media

Posted at 6:12 AM, Dec 06, 2019

BALTIMORE — Police are investigating after social media video has many in the city — including city council members — questioning an officer's use of force while making an arrest.

The video, posted by Tray Smith, is 45 seconds long and starts when the officers are already on top of the suspect, asking him to put his hands behind his back.

The man in the video is 23-year-old David Dixon. In the video, Dixon tells officers that they're choking him as others scream in the background.

Police have charged Dixon with felony drug possession, trespassing and resisting arrest.

Online court records show that the arresting officer is named Leon Riley. Police say Riley was taken to the hospital following the incident with bite wounds.

It's unclear what happened in the moments leading up to the video.

Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott retweeted the video and said he would be personally follow up with Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison as more details come to light.

Warning: The video below contains explicit language.

Baltimore police said they are looking into the circumstances that led to the arrest and are evaluating whether the arrest and the use of force comply with the department's policies and procedures.

The incident also comes a week after Harrison unveiled a new policy on the use of force for police.

"We worked collaboratively with the department of justice and training on use of force embrace national best practices," Harrison said on Nov. 26.

That policy went into effect last weekend, and Harrison said departments across the nation would be looking to it as a model going forward.

"The revised policies which included feedback from the officers and members of the public emphasis using force only when necessary, reasonable, and proportionate," Harrison said.

Harrison also said last week that the department would provide additional use of force training in 2020 and as part of regular training moving forward.

Reporters with Scripps station WMAR were unable to reach Dixon for comment. No one answered at an address listed for Dixon.

This story was originally published by Eddie Kadhim on WMAR in Baltimore.