Officers investigated after violent arrest

May 8, 2008 12:58:53 PM PDT
Six members of the Philadelphia police force have been removed from the streets following a violent arrest caught on tape.

The video shot from a helicopter shows three suspects being kicked and punched during a traffic stop.

"We certainly are concerned about what we saw on the tape. The behavior that at least was exhibited on the tape is unacceptable," said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

He added that investigators are still trying to identify all the officers at the scene.

Ramsey said the car was pulled over after officers witnessed three people being shot on a known drug corner on Monday night. The incident unfolded near 5th and Ansberry in Hunting Park. No weapons were found in the car, Ramsey said.

The three suspects - Dwayne Dyches, Brian Hall and Pete Hopkins, all of Philadelphia - were each charged with aggravated assault and related counts.

The mother of suspect Dwayne Dyches said she is outraged.

"I'm horrified to see that our city cops would beat some human being like they did, like a gang-style fight," Leomia Dyches said. "I'd actually like to see them in the criminal justice system. I'd like to see them tried for what they did."

Police were still looking for a fourth person, believed to be the gunman.

Ramsey said that officers have been on edge since Officer Stephen Liczbinski was shot and killed last Saturday, but that they still need to maintain a high standard of conduct as they search for the third suspect in that case.

"We do expect them to maintain a level of conduct on the street that is beyond reproach," the commissioner said. "The sergeant should have taken some kind of action to intervene."

Five officers and a sergeant have been removed from street duty until the investigation is completed.

A spokesman for Mayor Michael Nutter's office said more than a dozen officers will likely be taken off the street during the probe.