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Mystery video raises suspicion of Buffalo police brutality

The suspect’s screams of “Please stop” and “Let me go” are clear as day.

So are the slaps to his head from a Buffalo police officer.

Everything else about a new YouTube video that debuted this weekend remains a mystery. And it’s a mystery that Buffalo police want solved.

Did a Buffalo police officer, with colleagues looking on, assault a suspect already in custody?

“Buffalo police are aware of the video and are investigating the matter,” police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said Sunday.

The video, which appears to have been recorded by two eyewitnesses, runs for a minute, 20 seconds and records a police stop on a date and at a location not specified in the video.

The video starts out with officers wrestling on the ground with the suspect, and eventually shows him prone on the sidewalk with three officers standing above him and a fourth officer kneeling down next to his head. At that point, the video seems to show the kneeling officer slapping the suspect, kicking him and then slapping him a second time.

The video was first posted on a Facebook page belonging to Cop Block of Western New York, which describes itself as a “diverse group of individuals united by their shared goal of police accountability.”

Cop Block, which encourages people to videotape their local police, says the local video is its “first mission.”

The group says it also is trying to contact the victim to get his side of the story. It also says the video was sent to Buffalo police and Mayor Byron W. Brown.