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Alleged police brutality under investigation in Sarasota

Sarasota County

An investigation is underway in connection to an alleged police brutality case in Sarasota.

Witnesses claim officers beat and used a Taser on an innocent man, but the police have a different story.

On Thursday evening, neighbors on Gore Court emerged to the sound of screaming.

Chad Washington was being put into custody. A disturbing video shows officers deploying the taser and beating him.

The events leading up to this is up for debate.

“The first thing they did was attack him. They charged him to the floor and started punching him,” said Washington’s fiancé Darnesha McMillan.

McMillan claims he’s a victim of police brutality.

McMillan says she called 911 because Washington was vomiting and foaming at the mouth. She says when officers arrived, they immediately started beating him.

Black Lives Matter Manasota held a protest over the weekend, demanding justice and police accountability.

“We need out and open conversations about how law enforcement deals with the black community,” said Shakira Refos with Black Lives Matter Manasota.

But according to police, Washington was high on synthetic marijuana and assaulted the officers, so they had to restrain him.

In a statement, the police chief said, “We want this to serve is a reminder to our community that no one should take illegal drugs, including spice.”

Activists argue regardless of the circumstances, this response was excessive.

“I can’t imagine that being surrounded by five, six police officers and tasing someone over and over and over again in front of an entire community is part of that protocol,” said Refos.

The police department has launched an internal investigation. The officers suffered minor injuries and are currently back on duty.

Washington is still being held at the Sarasota County Jail.

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Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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