Cop Beatdown Triggers Internal Affairs Investigation

INQUIRER: A video showing baton-wielding police officers repeatedly striking a man in West Philadelphia has prompted an Internal Affairs investigation, police said. The 21/2-minute video, posted on YouTube, captures the violent arrest of Askia Sabur, 29, outside a takeout restaurant at Lansdowne Avenue and Allison Streets around 8:30 p.m. Friday. Five men, including Sabur and a cousin, were standing outside the Lucky Garden Chinese restaurant when two officers asked them to clear the corner. Sabur refused, telling the officers he was waiting for his food. In interviews, police, Sabur, his lawyer, and several witnesses agreed on that much. What happened next is in dispute. Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman, said Sabur knocked one of the officers to the ground before the video as posted on YouTube begins. “It started with a police officer lying on the bottom of the pile,” Vanore said. “The video doesn’t show everything. Stuff happens before, and stuff happens after. Our Internal Affairs is trying to get the whole picture.” Sabur was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment, and resisting arrest. Vanore said Sabur would also be charged with robbery because he tried to take an officer’s gun and baton. “Not every arrest ends with someone saying, ‘Thank you,’ ” Vanore said. “It’s a shame. This is one case where the male was not compliant.” MORE


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