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FBI investigates brutal police beating in Tennessee

Published time: July 27, 2011 19:05
Edited time: July 27, 2011 23:38

FBI investigates brutal police beating in Tennessee

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Darren Ring suffered four cracked ribs and a punctured lung after Tennessee police stripped him naked, beat him in the show and used pepper spray and a Taser on him. Now the FBI wants to know why it happened.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is opening up a probe into an alleged police cover-up of the incident.

Ring spent five months behind bars after the event. Now his court-appointed defense attorney has obtained 22 minutes of raw footage taken from a police car that night. Once the footage surfaced, charges were dropped against Ring. His attorney, however, says that the Tennessee police filed false charges against his client in order to cover up their own actions.

Police say that they were responding to reports of gunshots back in January when they apprehended Ring, who was intoxicated but unarmed. After ten minutes of brutally beating him in the snow, Ring was brought into jail. He was facing charges of resisting arrested and aggravated assault on a police officer which have since been dropped.

Representing Ring, attorney David Rayban tells Newstype.com, “The civil rights violations of my client were profound and absolutely unnecessary.” Ring’s previous attorney, Jake Lockert, alleges that the police’s filing of false charges was an attempt to “cover up their own criminal conduct.”

“The defendant had committed no crime,” reads Lockert’s original motion. He adds that Ring “was not advised that he was being arrested for any crime, and was not charged with any crime until after the officers had beaten him and had to charge the defendant in an attempt to justify or cover up their own criminal conduct of aggravated assault on the defendant.”

In the police report filed on the night of January 23, Deputy James McCord writes that Ring “was extremely violent towards all the deputies trying to restrain him.” Footage, however, shows Ring lying half-naked in the snow, facedown, with officers atop him, beating him with batons.

Three of the officers involved in the incident have been suspended on administrative leave with pay. Both the FBI and the Tennessee Department of Investigation are looking into the alleged cover-up while those men involved get paychecks from home.

Ring’s five months in prison came as a result of him being unable to afford bail.

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