NBC10 Philadelphia - Lu Ann Cahn
Philadelphia Police Officer William Gress is being investigated for an incident that has gone viral. Officer Gress is shown repeatedly striking a man who slapped him. This is the second video in recent weeks where a Philadelphia Police beating has surfaced on the web. NBC10's Lu Ann Cahn reports.
A video was posted to YouTube of a Philadelphia police officer beating a citizen with his baton. The posting comes less than three weeks after fellow officer, Lt. Jonathan Josey, made headlines after a video of him hitting a woman at a public event was also put online.
This time, though, the YouTube video shows the citizen, identified as 43-year-old John Scrivano, slapping the officer first.
Below is the video, posted on YouTube Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012.
We want to warn you that there is some graphic language:
The incident above happened during Oktoberfest on South Street in Philadelphia on Sept. 29.
Lt. Raymond Evers defended the officer to Philly.com, saying "The guy was highly intoxicated. What do you want?" Evers billed it as "old news" to Philly.com and is not releasing the officer's name.
Internal Affairs investigated the level of force used by the officer, Evers told NBC10. But the officer was not put on desk duty or reprimanded for his actions.
Scrivano's girlfriend told NBC10 he was unconscious when paramedics arrived.
Josey was suspended for 30 days for his role in the earlier incident, and the department intends to fire him. Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey made it clear that he doesn't want him back on the force.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter publicly apologized to the victim, Aida Guzman, in the Lt. Josey case, saying he was appalled, angry and ashamed. He said Josey violated his role as a public servant.
"We're here to serve the people who hire us. We're not over them or above them. We're here with them."