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Philadelphia Police Attempt to Justify Beating of Black Man by Claiming Had Crack & Bit Officers

The Philadelphia Police have attempted to justify brutality by officers, who punched, kicked, and threatened to use a Taser on a twenty-two year-old black man on April 3, by claiming the man bit officers multiple times and was also in possession of crack cocaine.

The claims are part of a statement put out in response to a video, which shows more than twenty officers—mostly white cops—violently arresting Tyree Carroll in the Germantown area of Philadelphia.

On 04-03-15 at approximately 11:44pm plainclothes officers assigned to the 14th district attempted to stop the defendant for a narcotics violation. As the officers stopped the defendant, he began to fight with the officers, biting one of the officers a total of three times (thigh, hand and arm). The defendant also bit another officer on the forearm during this arrest. Other responding officers arrived on location and were finally able to get the male into custody. 5.3 grams of crack cocaine was recovered from the defendant. The officers injured during this incident were transported to the hospital for the bleeding bite wounds that they sustained during the incident. The male was also transported to the hospital after intentionally striking his own head against the protective shield located in the police vehicle. Both the officers and the defendant were treated and released from the hospital without being admitted.

The video released by Tyree Carroll’s family severely undermines the Philadelphia Police Department’s justification for the amount of force used.

Carroll, who had a bicycle, can be seen on the ground with three officers wrestling and punching him. One officer can clearly be heard shouting, “Stop resisting!”, as he is being pummeled.

“Hey, Grandma! Grandma!” Carroll can be heard wailing, as he cries for help.

The young black man’s body is now still. Officers are crouched around him, and then officers push his body around some more. An officer strikes him with additional punches and stands up to kick him. That same officer then pounds him some more with his fist.

Two additional cops show up. One of the officers yells, “Got the fucking Taser, here I come! You’re getting the fucking Taser!” An officer can be heard saying, “Tase that motherfucker!” Six cops are on top and around Carroll.

The kicking and punching resumes with newfound ferocity after officers try to twist his body around. More police officers arrive at the scene. Carroll can be heard crying and occasionally managing to call out for his grandmother.

With twelve cops at the scene, there are new calls for a Taser to be used on Carroll. The cops shout at Carroll to put his hands behind his back after he has been severely battered by them and may possibly injured enough that he cannot move.

Even more cops arrive while officers continue to bellow at Carroll to put his arm behind his back. It does not seem to matter to the officers that the punching and kicking may have something to do with his inability to move his body. But, also, why take the risk of moving? Each movement up to this point has been an excuse for officers to punch and kick him.

One officer yells, “Fucking bit me, you piece of shit.” Another yells, “Bit me too!” It is hard to tell if Carroll really bit any of the officers. Carroll cannot be seen moving at all.

Shortly after, Carroll is saying he is sorry. It is possible that something happened, where Carroll could not breathe and that led to the alleged biting. Whatever the case may be, officers punched and kicked him many times before he ever committed the alleged biting that officers claim justify the use of force.

Three or four officers were plenty to handle him. The Philadelphia Police Department did not need more than twenty officers to arrest a young black man, who allegedly possessed more than five grams of crack cocaine. Additional officers merely escalated the scene.

Possession of crack cocaine does not justify punching and kicking anyone as manically as the Philadelphia police did.

The Philadelphia Police Department claims Internal Affairs is investigating, but police also claim all the paperwork involving use of force reports checks out. Officers apparently checked all the right boxes to justify all the right hooks to Carroll’s head and body.

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Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."