Video: Police smash man’s head to ground in parking arrest

Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 2:02 AM EDT
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Law enforcement officials in Rhode Island are looking into the conduct of two veteran Providence police officers shown on video smashing a handcuffed man’s face into the pavement over the July 4 weekend.

State Attorney General Peter Neronha and the Providence Police Department’ Office of Professional Responsibility have opened investigations into the arrest of a man at the city’s India Point Park following a July 3 fireworks celebration, the Boston Globe reports.

Captain Stephen Gencarella and Lt. Matthew Jennette arrested Armando Rivas, 21, at around 9:30 p.m. for leaving his vehicle parked unattended in the travel lane, the newspaper reports.

Police say the officers struck Rivas in the head, handcuffed him and brought him to the ground after he resisted arrest.

But the video shows that as Rivas was handcuffed and lying face-down, one of the officers grabbed his head and smashed his face down on the pavement, the Globe reports.

Rivas was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, obstructing an officer and simple assault.

It couldn’t be immediately determined if Rivas or the two officers have lawyers. The police department and Neronha’s office didn’t respond to emails seeking comment Wednesday.

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