Newport police ‘investigate’ violent incident caught on video with uniformed officer

NEW GATE — An incident with police turned violent on Thames Street in Newport on weekends.

A video that has gone viral appears to show a uniformed patrol officer aggressively pushing one man — forcing another to fall to the ground — then punching a second man in the face before wrestling him onto the street.

Newport Police Lieutenant April Amaral said in a phone call to The Daily News Monday morning that Chief Gary Silva is aware of the incident – and the video – and that more information is being gathered “so they can look more into this, obviously this incident is going viral, said Amaral.

A Facebook screenshot of a video that appears to show a uniformed Newport police officer punching an unarmed man in the face on Thames Street over the weekend.  The Nieuwpoort police say they are investigating what happened.

A Facebook screenshot of a video that appears to show a uniformed Newport police officer punching an unarmed man in the face on Thames Street over the weekend. The Nieuwpoort police say they are investigating what happened.

“He hopes to release more this afternoon, but for now we are all running into this,” Amaral said. “We need to do our due diligence and investigate this entire incident.”

The incident occurred near the Santander Bank branch at 292 Thames St., at about 1:20 a.m. Sunday, Amaral said. She said “at least two” arrests have been made on charges of disorderly conduct, obstruction of justice and simple assault. The names of those arrested have not been released.

At the beginning of the 24-second video, which has been posted to numerous social media websites and viewed hundreds of thousands of times, we see two patrol officers attempting to arrest a man who is pressed against a city trolley.

A third officer, trying to clear bystanders from the area, grabbed a man and yelled, “Get the (expletive) back” as he pushed him across the sidewalk with both hands. The man who was pushed collided with another person, who then hit a lamppost and fell into the street, while onlookers gasped.

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Just then, another man, coming from the opposite direction, approached the officer from behind. The officer turned and asked, “What are you doing?” and before he could answer the man struck with an open hand.

“Oh my god”, a bystander was heard to say.

The officer then pulled the man he hit to the ground.

Cranston-based attorney Christopher Millea told The Daily News he is representing one of the men arrested early Sunday. He said his client, whom Millea identified as the man pressed against the city trolley, is in his mid-20s and is originally from Massachusetts but will be working and living in Newport for the summer.

He is due to appear in Newport Court on July 6 on charges of disorderly conduct, obstruction of a police officer and resisting arrest.

The incident comes on the heels of a Friday night at the State House in which an off-duty Providence police officer reportedly a woman attacked during a protest. Jeann Lugo has been placed on paid administrative leave

Providence police officer charged: Jeann Lugo once praised right-wing protesters for ‘standing in front of people’s faces’

This is a story in development and will be updated

This article originally appeared on Newport Daily News: Video shows Newport Police were involved in a violent incident on Thames Street

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