Police acknowledge that the video clearly shows the officer punching a man multiple times. But at first, Chief Skip Holbrook said he made the decision to suspend after he saw the video online himself.
That led to him opening up his own internal investigations.
The incident in the video showed five off-duty police officers in the parking area of Sound Stage, when a fight started.
A bystander recorded the police grabbing people, some who were involved, and others who were not. The video captured one individual who was face down on the ground when a police officer punched him multiple times.
“Why are you punching him?” one woman screamed.
The officer, who was not identified at first, barks, “back the f*ck up!”
Chief Holbrook later identified the officer as Tyrone Pugh. He has now been suspended without pay pending an internal investigation.
He is also subject to a separate probe by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin released the following statement:
“I’m pleased with Chief Holbrook’s quick response and I expect a thorough & transparent review of the events Saturday night. The Chief & all city leadership expect the CPD and its officers to uphold the highest professional standards and we will accept nothing less.”
(Article by Jackson Marciana and Moreh B.D.K.)