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An Alabama police officer viciously stomped on a mentally ill man’s leg several times during an arrest, disturbing witness video shows.
The footage, captured Sunday inside a gas station in Huntsville, shows an officer struggling to subdue Kemontae Hobbs, 22, before several other cops join the fray.
As one officer tries to focus on Hobbs’ head and shoulders, another cop repeatedly stomps on his right leg, the footage shows.
“Stop resisting!” the officer says.
A woman can also be heard screaming “help us” as the 90-second clip begins.
At one point, five officers then surround Hobbs and demand he give them his hands.
He was later brought to his feet and led out of the MapCo gas station, the footage shows.
Police are now probing the footage that the Huntsville Bail Fund claims showed the officer using unnecessary force during the arrest.
“Kemotae Hobbs was brutalized by Huntsville police last night,” the organization wrote on Facebook. “Police were called because Kemontae was panhandling outside a gas station, leading to the viral video of an officer trying to break his leg.”
Hobbs, who has been previously diagnosed with schizophrenia, is known to police after several earlier “run-ins” with Huntsville officers, according to Huntsville Bail Fund officials.
“After his arrest and brutalization, Huntsville Police called to tell his mother that they had her son, and knew he was mentally ill,” the group wrote on Facebook. “They treated him like this anyway.”
Huntsville police Capt. Michael Johnson told AL.com an investigation into the footage was underway Monday.
“We are aware of the video and investigating at this time,” Johnson wrote the outlet.
A message seeking additional comment from Huntsville police was not immediately returned early Tuesday.
Hobbs, who was taken into custody on charges of obstructing governmental operations and resisting arrest, has since been released, according to the Huntsville Bail Fund.
His mother told AL.com a cashier called cops after he asked someone at the gas station for a dollar.
“It didn’t take all those officers when he was already down,” said Hobbs’ mother, Kimberlyn Hayes. “How was he resisting when he was already on the ground and you are stomping on him like a dog? That’s not how you handle things.”
Hayes is now considering hiring an attorney, she said.
“The police just think they can do what they want and beat on people,” Hayes told AL.com. “That’s not right.”
Huntsville City Councilman Devyn Keith, meanwhile, told WHNT he thought the officer who stomped on Hobbs’ right leg in the footage showed “reckless use of force.”
“My issue and why I am baffled is at the fact he storms in at the top and automatically goes to stomping,” Keith told the station of the officer’s conduct.
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