Witnesses claim the officers viciously beat the man after he was handcuffed and unconscious and let a dog maul him.
“They punched him, stomped him, kicked him and then they let the dog out of the car,” Ricardo Garcia told NBC Philadelphia. “The dog bit him on his face and around his body. There’s no call for that. Once a man is handcuffed and unconscious, you should have stuck him in the patrol car and take [sic] him to the police station. Instead they decided to beat him right here.”
Police arrested Phillip White, 32, Tuesday morning after responding to a call about a disorderly person, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office.
While many details are unclear, White was reportedly handcuffed on the street during part of the incident. Witnesses tell NBC that officers began roughing the man up. Police reportedly called for medical help when White appeared to be having respiratory problems
An audio of police communications gives some insight into the exchange:
“118 West Grape,” the dispatcher says in the recording. “Subject…hyperventilating. Officers out.”
An officer can also be heard.
“Slow all units down,” the officer says. “Subject under…tried disarming me.”
The incident is under investigation, with many outraged over the death. Police Chief Timothy P. Codispoti has said there will be an investigation to get to the bottom of it. An autopsy has not been released.
“Our sincere thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased and with the officers involved,” Codispoti said in a statement. ”I ask that everyone allow time for our justice system to now investigate this matter to its truthful conclusion.”