An internal investigation is underway to determine if Officers Michael Petroczy and Brent Edwards used proper protocol while attempting to restrain two Florida A&M University students. The officers left one man with bruises and abrasions and the other missing three teeth.
Officers responded to a complaint of loud noise at a house party on campus circle early Sunday morning. Authorities said Antonio and Christopher Smith began shouting profanities at the officers after paying a fee to prevent their car from getting towed.
"They ended up bringing 14 cop cars, four tow trucks, two ambulances, and started towing cars," said Athen White, an eyewitness to the incident.
Police reports said an officer and one of the arrested were wrestling on the ground while the other officer used an attempted leg sweep to gain control of the other person arrested.
"I saw the cops gather around themselves and pretty much talk about what they had done. And a few of them seemed a little bit excited jumping up and down like this [demonstrating the jumps] just kind of showing some, [pause] a little aggression that they showed on these kids," added Jarrod Shelley who also witnessed the incident.
The report contended the officers acted in response to the brothers threatening moves. The report said Antonio would not step away from officers and at one point lunged at an officer.
An e-mail complaint from family members said the boys were brutally beaten. The e-mail prompted Police Chief John Proctor to step in.
"He saw the e-mail that I had gotten and I brought it to his attention of course and when he saw the e-mail and the allegation inside the e-mail, he immediately opened up an internal affairs complaint on the two officers," said Officer John Newland of the Tallahassee Police Department.
The e-mail also stated one Smith brother suffered broken ribs and the other was struck with a baton in the face back and legs. The injuries reported in the e-mail and the use of a baton are at odds with the police report. The police report described less serious injuries and no use of any kind of weapon other than hands or feet.
Police said they have a video tape of the incident but are not releasing it pending further investigation.
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