Columbia, SC — A Columbia police officer has been suspended without pay after being captured on video doling out devastating blows to a man who’s lying face down on the ground.
The video, uploaded to facebook Sunday morning, quickly got the attention of media and the Columbia police department. It shows Investigator Tyrone Pugh, an eight year veteran of the CPD, allegedly involved in a severe case of excessive force.
Chief Skip Holbrook learned about the video through social media and started an internal investigation. Upon seeing the video, Pugh was placed on suspension, pending an internal investigation.
Officials say five off-duty police officers were in the parking lot of Sound Stage, off Blanding Street, around 2 a.m. when a fight broke out.
That’s when an onlooker captured video of officers arriving to the scene and trying to control the crowd.
As Pugh brutally hammers down on the man, a woman can be heard screaming, “Why are you punching him?”
“Back the f*ck up!” Pugh shouts back.
“I know there are multiple sides to the story,” Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin told The State Monday. “(The video) left me gravely concerned as to what the possible circumstances might have been, and I shared that with the chief and he acted accordingly.”
The fact that Pugh was placed on suspension without pay is encouraging. All too often we see far worse offenders than Pugh get paid vacations after beating or even killing innocent people.
Anytime legitimate accountability is pursued, it’s a win for the people.