The video stirred national attention as eight officers who were among 18 surrounded a car in North Philadelphia on May 5 after a shooting between two groups of men.
The grainy video showed Philadelphia police officers exhibiting what some are calling “animalistic behavior” as they kicked and punched the black suspects.
The incident occurred during police surveillance of a suspected drug-dealing operation.
The police said they had been pursuing the car in connection with a triple shooting. The three men–Brian Hall, 23, Pete Hopkins, 19, and Dwayne Dyches, 24, have been charged with attempted murder and related counts stemming from the shooting. Their attorneys have said the men had nothing to do with the incident.
One officer is depicted as kicking a suspect in the head, while another appeared to use an object in his hand to hit the head of another suspect, said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.
The video depicted some of the officers dragging the suspects out of the car and kicking and punching them as they lay on the ground.
One of Dyches’ attorneys said his client suffered a welt on his head the size of a baseball and that one of his legs was seriously injured.
The incident, captured by a television news helicopter, came two days after the murder of a police sergeant during a robbery, the third Philadelphia officer killed in the line of duty in the past two years.
The internal police investigation examined the video for two weeks and concluded that the officers used “indiscriminate force” against the suspects, who are now in custody for their alleged role in the drug related shooting.
Two of the officers being fired were new to the force and will be terminated immediately, Ramsey said. Two others are being suspended without pay for 30 days with intent to dismiss.
Three other officers are being suspended and one sergeant is being demoted. A criminal investigation is continuing.
The officers may face criminal charges by Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham, whose office is examining the video. The FBI is also reviewing the video, Ramsey said.