A video of Pittsburgh police officer Raymond Toomey kicking and kneeing a downed man, identified as Nathan Stanley III, in the head during an arrest early Sunday has surfaced. The video has prompted an investigation from the police department.
Witness Damian Trott captured the 10-second video around 2:00 A.M. Sunday outside a bar at 1500 E. Carson St. while celebrating his graduation from Youngstown State University with his girlfriend. The video shows two officers atop a man identified as Nathan Stanley III during a struggle, with one cop holding him down as the other knees Stanley in the head and then kicks him in the face.
“It was disturbing,” Trott, 24, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “They had him held down. The man was defenseless.”
Trott told WPXI that he did not know why Stanley was being arrested or what took place before he started filming. The officers were reportedly responding to the bar after bouncers said Stanley had a gun and threatened to “shoot y’all up,” according to a criminal complaint filed by police.
Officer Raymond Toomey said he found Stanley at the bar with a “strong odor” of alcohol and slurred speech. Toomey began to arrest Stanley when Stanley attempted to reach for his waistband with his right hand, causing the officer to believe he was going for a gun. Toomey said Stanley resisted arrest and tried to choke him as a second officer arrived. Toomey said he punched Stanley twice in the torso and twice in the face while trying to handcuff him. Once Stanley was on the ground, Toomey also admitted to kneeing and kicking him in the face, saying the suspect was “still attempting to reach for his waistband.
WPXI reports that the criminal complain does not indicate that a gun was found.
Stanley was ultimately handcuffed and charged with aggravated assault, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. He was released after posting $10,000 bail and is set to appear in court on May 18.
“An investigation will be conducted into the incident,” Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Sonya Toler told WPXI. “Anyone who witnessed or has information about what occurred is encouraged to contact the city of Pittsburgh Office of Municipal Investigation.”
Trott said he posted the video so that police officers and citizens can build “a better relationship.”
“This is all about holding officers accountable for their actions the way they hold citizens accountable for theirs,” he said. “I want the video to be beneficial.”
Nathan Stanley III
Nathan Stanley III has been IDed as the man being kicked and kneed in the face by Pittsburgh police officer Raymond Toomey in a video posted to Twitter early Sunday. Bouncers at the bar Stanley was at claimed he had a gun and threatened to “shoot y’all up.”