Bodycam video shows excessive force incident that resulted in arrest of New York officer

Officer Luke Deer charged with felony assault, official misconduct


ALBANY, N.Y. – Bodycam video has been released showing an excessive force incident last month that resulted in the arrest of one Albany, New York officer and the suspension of two others.

Officer Luke Deer has been charged with felony assault and official misconduct. He has been suspended without pay along with two other officers, one of which was identified as Officer Matthew Seeber, according to the Albany Times Union.

The incident occurred early March 16 when officers responded to a call about loud music at a residence.

Bodycam video obtained by WNYT shows officers kicking open the front door of the home after a man inside tells them he won't let them in without a warrant. The man is then seen being thrown to the floor and beat by several officers before being dragged outside.

Another video shows a man standing in the middle of the street with his hands up when an officer, identified as Deer, runs at him and pushes him to the ground. The officer is then seen punching him several times and beating him with a baton. The man is heard repeatedly yelling, "What you hitting me for?"

Officers are also seen using pepper spray, and at one point, an officer is heard telling Deer to calm down.

Watch the videos below:

Three people at the home were arrested during the incident for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and inciting a riot, officials said. A judge dropped the charges Wednesday, citing misconduct by the officers.

"As a matter of law, she would have found that there was no basis for these charges for which these men were arrested," a lawyer for one of the victims told WNYT. "Not to mention what they were subjected to."

Deer has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, officials said. His next court appearance is scheduled for Monday.

"It was determined that not only had Officer Deer violated departmental policy, but he had also committed criminal acts as well," Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said at a news conference Tuesday. "I am convinced that the misconduct I observed by these few officers was an aberration. Nonetheless, I condemn that misconduct in the strongest terms, and I'm sending a strong message that such conduct will not be tolerated in the Albany Police Department."

The Albany Police Officers Union released a statement Tuesday, saying it "firmly stands behind every officer involved in the incident," and that "officers were called to the house that night because of the lawlessness that has been allowed to perpetuate over several months."

Statement regarding the arrest and suspension of APOU members: First and foremost the APOU firmly stands behind every...

Posted by Albany Police Officers Union on Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Police said they are continuing their investigation and that Seeber may also face criminal charges.

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