A Detroit police corporal has been suspended after cellphone video emerged showing him beating a naked, unarmed, and possibly mentally ill woman inside an emergency room as she was restrained, per the AP. The video posted on WJBK-TV's website shows the male officer punching the woman about a dozen times on Wednesday at Detroit Receiving Hospital. She can be heard shouting a threat at someone before being grabbed by one of the police officers and security staff. The male officer then began punching her. What is shown on the video is "very disturbing," Detroit police Chief James Craig told reporters Thursday, adding that a criminal investigation has begun. "There were points where the suspect had turned her back, but the officer continued to punch," Craig said. "It was at that point we had grave concerns for the officer's actions."
A rep for the Wayne County prosecutor's office said that if and when the police department sends a warrant request for the officer's arrest, her office will follow its usual procedure in police-involved cases by conducting an independent investigation before making a charging decision. The unnamed corporal is an 18-year veteran of the police department "who has a good record." He and his partner took the woman to the hospital Wednesday evening after responding to a report of a "lewd and lascivious" person. The woman spat on hospital staff, bit a security guard and tried to bite the corporal, the chief added. Craig said he is concerned that the officers didn't follow procedure by handcuffing a "mentally ill person" and that he thinks the officers' body camera footage tells "a little bit of a different story" than the cellphone footage. (Read more police brutality stories.)