Dayton police arrested George Melvin Lail, 26, with numerous charges related to weapons, but he had no weapons, according to the police report.
Lail was charged with four felonies: carrying a concealed weapon, having weapons while under a disability, improperly handling a firearm, and violation of parole.
Officer Carter pulled over Lail for “a crime”, the report says. It does not describe what the crime is nor what the crime is.
Part of the arrest and assault was caught on cell phone footage.
At the beginning of the video Lail is seen, shirtless, fleeing the officers in a shopping centers parking lot.
Lail gives up quickly and lays on the ground as two officers run up to him.
One of the officers stands over Lail and grabs his handcuffs and Lail lays still.
The officer then punches Lail three times, even though Lail was subdued and not resisting the officers.
Once officers were able to handcuff Lail, the officers then attempt to lift Lail by pulling up on the handcuffs and his wrists.
The officers were unsuccessful in lifting Lail, so they made him lay on the ground for over a minute-and-forty-five-seconds, where the video cut off.
A local activist and journalist Doc Naziri reached out to Sergeant Kyle Thomas by phone requesting more information on what transpired.
Doc Naziri was able to confirm that Sgt. Thomas did see the video and that it was handed over to police moments after being recorded.
“So, you’ve seen it and you can see that he’s being punch. You can see that he is not resisting when he’s being punched. You can see that there is a knee on the back of his neck, the left knee of the Caucasian officer. You’re not disputing any of those facts, correct?’
The officer replied:
“No, I am not confirming any of that… Nobody is disputing that video, that there were strikes that were delivered. There was force that was used.”
Dayton Police general order on Use of Force can be found here.
When Sgt. Thomas was questioned on if a knee on the back of someone’s neck restraint is policy at Dayton Police Department, he refused to give a yes or no answer.
A second video, provided by Doc Naziri, of another conversation between him and Sgt. Thomas has been released going over the police report of the arrest.
Doc Naziri inquires why there were weapon charges, but on the report the weapons section says none.
“When a police report is filed and an officer puts down that there were no weapons on the suspect when they were arrested, is that normally what they put down when someone is being charged with having a weapon?”
Sgt. Thomas responds:
“If there are weapon related charges, then there was a weapon recovered.”
So, either the officers report is erroneous or an officer messed up.
Sgt. Thomas confirmed that Lail was taken to the hospital for his injuries before being transported to jail.